250 Cookbooks: Knudsen Recipes

Cookbook #210: Knudsen Recipes, Knudsen, Knudsen Creamery Co. of California, 1958.

Knudsen Recipes cookbook

This is the third of my mother’s “Knudsen Recipes” cookbooks that I have covered: 1953 was the first, 1955 the second.

I like this edition because it is very much like the 1955 version. Again, the first page illustrates a male chemist in the lab. This time he is dripping something from a big round separatory funnel into a round bottom flask. If he adds much more solution, it will definitely overflow. Plus, why is the lower flask suspended? He is not heating that flask, and it would make more sense to have it on a solid surface, and to use an erlenmeyer flask. (The organic chem lab teacher in me never quits.)

scientistAnd as in the 1955 edition, it is a woman who is doing the cooking, or at least reading the cookbook.

cookThe first section is Appetizers and Spreads. Mother marked several: Crab Meat Canapes, Salami-Julienne Spread, and Cheese Onion Balls. These are all made with cream cheese, cottage cheese, and/or sour cream, with additions of canned or frozen products. During the 50s, and especially during the cocktail hour, these types of appetizers were a mainstay of American cookery.

appetizersHere is a photo of some of the appetizers:

Next is Salads. Mother put a check mark on “Carrot and Red Cabbage Salad”. I thought about making this salad, since I like the combination of carrots and cabbage, but this recipe has more sour cream than I think I’d like. A “Full Meal” salad mixes leftover cooked meat with canned or fresh vegetables and a lot of cottage cheese and sour cream. Not for me. Nor are the molded salads. I guess this whole chapter is just not for me!

In the Main Dishes chapter, most of the recipes use about a cup of sour cream and/or cottage cheese per recipe. “Spaghetti with Beef in Hampshire” is a dish of steak, herbs, canned mushrooms, canned tomato soup, Worcestershire sauce, and sour cream, cooked and served over spaghetti. “Spaghetti Cheese Pie” is cooked spaghetti spread in a pie pan and covered with bacon, mushrooms, eggs, cheddar cheese, and cottage cheese and then baked. Both of these typical homey 50s recipes might taste good, but just aren’t the way I cook today. “Baked Potato, The Great American Dish” – baked potatoes with sour cream and chives – was also in the 1955 edition of Knudsen Recipes.

Right in the middle of the Main Dishes chapter I find a recipe for “Cherry Muffins”. Why here? I really don’t know. But I like the recipe, because I am always looking for new muffin recipes and this one has cottage cheese (protein and calcium) in the batter along with a can of tart red cherries (tart cherries are supposed to be good for you). Note all of the recipes on the page below: they are good examples of the type of recipes in this cookbook.

main dishes

Perhaps Cherry Muffins were meant to be served with supper, or on a buffet, as in the photo below. The muffins are in the lower right hand corner:

main dishes

Also in the Main Dish chapter is the following recipe for “Zucchini Dollar Cakes”. I think the recipe sounds kind of good. And it might come in handy in late summer, when all those zucchini squashes are out there.

zucchini dollar cakes

In the Vegetables chapter, most of the vegetables are heavily sauced. Except “Broccoli in Almond Sauce”, which has just a little sour cream. But it calls for frozen broccoli. I prefer a little seasoning on lightly cooked fresh vegetables. I do like the idea of adding cottage cheese to mashed potatoes, one of the other recipes in this section.

Desserts and Sweets is the best chapter for recipes that include sour cream and cream cheese, in my opinion. We expect desserts to have calories, and getting those calories from milk products might be better for us. Examples are: “Cream Cheese Pie”, “Cheese Cake”, “Viennese Apple Strudel” (with cream cheese, butter, and a lot of apples), and “Sour Cream Boston Cheese Cake”. I am marking “try” on the recipe for “Hampshire Sour Cream Spice Cake”, with cottage cheese, sour cream, and lots of spices. It is baked in a bundt pan.

The closing pages of Knudsen Recipes include lists of menus, ideas for using Knudsen products for “weight control for better health”, and a table of calories in a few foods and recipes in this cookbook.

caloric quotaNext is a rave for all the good things about yogurt, hoop cheese, and milk. “Looking for New Ideas? Ways to use cottage cheese” lists a page of ideas. The following one is my favorite. “The men like this with old-fashioned hot potato salad.”

“Looking for New Ideas? Ways to use sour cream” is next, and here is my favorite from that list. “Gourmets babble?”

And that’s the book. I decide to make the “Cherry Muffins” for this blog. Here is the recipe (again):

Cherry Muffins recipeThe first issue I need to address in baking these muffins is the “2 cups prepared biscuit mix”. Biscuit mix, or “Bisquick”, was a staple in American kitchens in the 1950s. It is still available today. Should I purchase a box of Bisquick to make this recipe? I think not. I have no other use for it, and in general, I like cooking from scratch, so that I know my ingredients. Luckily, at some time in the recent past I had copied from the web search results for a substitution for biscuit mix:

“For each 1 cup biscuit mix (like Bisquick) called for in a recipe, use 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening.”

I decide to use a combination of unbleached all purpose flour and whole wheat pastry flour, and to use butter instead of vegetable shortening. Also, the cottage cheese I have is very salty, so I am going to cut down the amount of salt. Below is my version of “Cherry Muffins”.

Cherry Muffins
makes 12

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (you can use all purpose flour instead)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter, preferably unsalted
  • 1 cup (one can, 13 oz.) tart red cherries, unsweetened, the kind used to bake cherry pies

Combine the flour(s), baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

Put the egg in a good sized bowl and whisk it a few times. Add the sugar, milk, cottage cheese, and melted butter. Mix well.

Chop the drained cherries. These cherries will be very wet and soft, and I didn’t get them totally drained. No problem, just scoop them into the bowl with the wet ingredients.

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and stir just until mixed. Put into 12 muffin cups. Bake at 400˚ 20-22 minutes, until golden brown and test done with a toothpick.

Cherry MuffinsThese were a lot better than I expected! I was concerned that the cherries would not lend enough flavor to the muffins, but I was very wrong. Also, I often use vegetable oil in muffins, but used butter in these. Same calories, but what a difference in texture! These almost taste like pie crust.

Success! I was able to use healthy ingredients, like tart cherries and cottage cheese, to make delicious morning muffins. Probably current and future readers will find nutritional problems with my recipe, as opinions and science are in flux. But for now, I will enjoy my semi-healthy muffins!

250 Cookbooks: Weber Gas Grill Cookbook

Cookbook #209: Weber Gas Grill Cookbook, Weber-Stephen Products, 2005.

Weber Gas Grill cookbookThis booklet of 26 recipes must have come with our Weber gas grill. I have forgotten all about this cookbook, since soon after getting the grill I purchased Weber’s Real Grilling, a large cookbook with tons of recipes.

Today as I open this 8 1/2 x 11-inch booklet, I am so very glad I rediscovered it! It is formatted much like Weber’s Real Grilling, and I invite you to read that post for background information.

First are three recipes for grilling steak, including a recipe I’d like to try: “Marinaded Flank Steak”. Next is baby back ribs with a “spiced apple cider mop”. Onions and green peppers are doused with beer in a foil pan and grilled alongside bratwurst in “Bratwurst & Beer”.

“Gaucho Grill with Chimichurri Sauce” grills a mixture of chicken, sausages, and flank steak, all rubbed with a homemade chimichurri sauce before grilling and served with more of this sauce. “Gyros Roast” is interesting, but sounds like a lot of work. First you pound a slab of lamb and a slab of round steak, rub herbs on the lamb, top with the round steak, roll up this lamb-herb-beef sandwich, tie with string, and grill 1 1/2 hours. Both the Gaucho Grill and Gyros Roast would be good recipes if cooking for a crowd.

“Rack of Lamb” and “Leg of Lamb” are other group-sized recipes. Not sure they would work for a couple, since what would I do with the leftovers? “Spicy Lamb Kabobs” would work well for two people, though. The lamb cubes are marinaded in red wine vinegar, lemon juice, orange rind, green onion, cinnamon, and cloves . “Pecan-Stuffed Pork Chops”? Sound great – I have baked stuffed pork chops, but never done them on the grill.

“Ricotta Chicken” begins with a whole chicken. You remove the backbone and slice the chicken in half lengthwise. Then you push a mixture of ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, and herbs under the skin. Finally, you grill it. Sounds good, but a bit of work.

“Cornish Hens with Mandarin Sauce” would probably be good. I have never grilled stuffed game hens. I marked “Tandoori Chicken” as good, and now I decide to cook this dish for this blog.

“Chicken Fajitas” and “Grilled Chicken Pitas” are nice, everyday meals. There are recipes for sea bass and tuna, if I am every able to find these expensive fishes. A recipe for salmon doesn’t inspire me, and I know I’ll never try the shrimp recipe, because it has curry in it.

I rarely grill vegetables. This book has recipes for grilled tomatoes, red peppers stuffed with fresh mozzarella, corn on the cob in the husk, stuffed potatoes, and squash with peppers. Doubt I’ll use these recipes, although I do love fresh mozzarella and red peppers.

The last recipe is for “Paradise Grilled”. This is grilled pineapple, and I love grilled pineapple! This recipe includes a glaze, which I really think is unnecessary. Grilled pineapple is great on its own, or maybe over ice cream.

At the very end of Weber Gas Grill Cookbook is a 3-page grilling guide. Weber’s Real Grilling has grilling guides, but they are scattered throughout the book. The one in Weber Gas Grill Cookbook is much more concise, and I think it is more useful.

I definitely will keep this cookbook. I am going to store it tucked inside the big Weber’s Real Grilling (my favorite grilling cookbook) so that I don’t forget about it, and also for ready access to the grilling guide.

“Tandoori Chicken” is the recipe I chose for this blog. It is the only recipe I marked in this cookbook – I marked it with a post-it as “excellent”.

Tandoori Chicken recipe

I will make it exactly like the recipe, except we’ll skip the chutney and cucumbers. I can tell this is a recipe that is “up my alley”, since I have all of the ingredients on my shelves or in my refrigerator.

Tandoori Chicken
serves 4-5

  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (or crushed coriander seed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 pounds chicken pieces

Combine all of the marinade ingredients, and then add the chicken. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

When ready to cook the chicken, remove it from the marinade, saving the marinade. Boil the marinade for 1 minute: it will be used to baste the chicken in the last part of the grilling step.

Heat a gas grill with all burners on until it is very hot. Then, turn off half of the burners (or two-thirds, depending on the size of your grill) and let the temperature drop to about 350-375˚. Place the chicken pieces skin side up on the grill over indirect heat.

Cook for about 45 minutes, until done, as indicated by a quick read thermometer, or observing that the “juices are running clear”. Brush with the boiled marinade during the last 15 minutes or so of grilling time.

Note that this recipe does not call for turning the chicken pieces. I like grill marks on both sides, so I turned them once to skin side down for about 5 minutes. I put them over the direct heat, and I shouldn’t have! They tasted great, but were a bit blackened. Next time, I might try placing them skin side down first, over indirect heat, for a few minutes, then turn them skin side up for the remainder of the cooking.

Tandoori ChickenThese tasted great! The yogurt marinade makes them not only well seasoned, it also makes them very tender. (I put the blackened side down for the photo. They would have been so much prettier if I hadn’t tried something experimental!)

I served the Tandoori Chicken with a fresh lettuce salad with wonderful tomatoes from our local fruit stand, fresh vinaigrette dressing using my garden’s herbs, corn on the cob, and a loaf of sourdough bread from our local Button Rock Bakery. Topped the meal off with fresh peach and apricot pie, fruits again from our local stand.

Ah, I love the days of summer with fresh local produce. And I enjoy re-discovering a good cookbook.

250 Cookbooks: Kitchen Science

Cookbook #208: Kitchen Science, Revised Edition, Howard Hillman, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1989.

Kitchen Science cookbook

The following is a quote from Howard Hillman, found in the foreword to this revised edition of Kitchen Science:

“By popular demand, we’ve expanded Kitchen Science, by 25 percent. It was fun because we love to eat, cook, and experiment (a friend affectionately nicknamed us ‘mad scientists in the kitchen’).”

I love this book! Mad scientists in the kitchen, much like me.

From the preface:

“Find yourself a recipe, and you can cook one dish. Teach yourself the science of cooking, and you can cook creatively forever. Creative cooking requires love, imagination, art, and science.”

I bought this book for myself when I was a working chemist. I even loaned it to some of my students over the years. I am very happy to revisit this book for this blog – Kitchen Science has laid on the shelf way too long. Out of curiousity, I checked to see if Howard Hillman has updated Kitchen Science, and sure enough, there is a revision released in 2003.

The first chapter of Kitchen Science covers cooking equipment, for example: how to choose a good knife and how to sharpen it; the advantages/disadvantages of different types of pans.

The next chapter, cooking methods, covers the usual stove top and oven methods, but with a much more scientific twist. Example: “Heat cooking is chemistry. When you increase the heat, you increase the velocity of the molecules in a food. The greater the speed, the more the molecules collide.These microscopic crashes can alter the molecular structures, creating new molecules and changing the color, flavor, and texture of the cooking food.” He also answers questions like “Is there a difference in temperature between lightly and vigorously boiling water?” (no) and “Does salt raise the boiling point of water?” and “Is braising best done in the oven or on to of the stove?” and “What causes a lid to stick to a pan?”

I learn in the “Meats” chapter that a “bloody red steak” isn’t really bloody, instead, the red color comes from myoglobin, a constituent of muscle. Furthermore, myoglobin undergoes chemical changes as its temperature rises, going from pink to drab brown. Thus, the red color in “blood rare” steaks is actually pink myoglobin. “London broil” has been a popular dish since I was a little kid. Today’s markets sell thick round steak as “London broil”. However, true London broil used to be flank steak, a cut of meat that has long fibers and is taken from the side or “flank” of the cow. After World War II, Americans took up the “fashionable backyard sport of barbecuing”, and since each steer has only two flank steaks, butchers began merchandising the relatively abundant round steak as “London broil”. Hillman discusses the pros and cons of salting meat before or after cooking. And beyond beef, he writes that free range chickens have more flavor because exercise developes more flavor in their muscles.

On the topic of fish, Hillman explains that freshwater fishes have more “small, annoying bones” than marine fishes, because salt water has a higher specific density, thus fish in the ocean have a greater buoyancy and that buoyancy allows them to have a heavier bone structure. Lobster claws are secured with rubber bands because lobsters are cannibals, and unless their claws are disabled they will eat each other while they are held in lobster tanks.

I have often run across recipes that say to “scald milk”. I tend to skip this step, always feeling a bit guilty. But no more! From Kitchen Science: “Scalding has two primary purposes: to kill pathogenic microorganisms and to destroy certain enzymes that would keep emulsifying agents in the milk from doing their thickening job.” But today, this book explains, when you buy pasteurized milk, about the only kind of milk offered in US stores, both of these tasks have already been accomplished. Yay! I can now ignore directions to scald milk!

How about drinking chocolate milk as a source of calcium? Well, chocolate has oxalic acid in it, and this chemical inhibits the digestive system’s ability to absorb calcium. So not such a good idea. Unsalted butter is better for cooking because the salt content of salted butter can vary from brand to brand. Recipes from “virtually all serious cookbooks are based on the use of sweet (unsalted) butter”. I have gradually changed my recipes over the past several years to use sweet butter, and now I know why. Pages 110-112 give a great method for clarifying butter, and I’ll definitely use this method next time a recipe calls for it.

Eggs are the next chapter. To this day, I use the method described in Kitchen Science to boil eggs. First, I use a push-pin to make a hole in the less-pointed end of the egg. You see, after an egg is laid, the yolk and albumen shrink and an air pocket forms between the less pointed end and the shell. When you put the egg in hot water to boil, this area can expand and crack the shell. That’s not only annoying, it makes the boiling water all white and yucky! So I poke a hole in the flatter end of each egg shell, and gently lower the egg into boiling water, and happily watch a stream of air bubble out of the egg. Almost never do these poked egg shells crack in the boiling water. (More on this technique below.)

My interest in chicken eggs may come from my time in graduate school. Here is the title of my master’s thesis: “The effect of methylene bridged monoribonucleotides on transformation of chick embryo fibroblasts by Rous sarcoma virus” (by Patricia Louise Feist, University of Colorado, 1976). For this research project, I had to incubate fertilized chicken eggs for about 9 days in a special small egg incubator (which was re-discovered in the attic storage of the old chemistry building in the 2000s). Each egg had to be placed in the incubator with the flatter end up, otherwise the air sac would break and the whole egg would become infected with bacteria. When you buy a carton of eggs, they should always be sold with the flatter end up. But, I often find them upside down in today’s markets. Perhaps this is because they are sterilized before being sold, a process which oddly enough makes them require refrigeration. In Togo, eggs were not sterilized, and stored at room temperature, and were just fine because unsterilized eggs have a natural protection.

I digress! Back to Kitchen Science. “What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?” Here is the excerpt:

fruits vs vegetables

Now I think I’ll call tomatoes “fruit-vegetables”.

“Sauces and Thickeners” is the next chapter. I took a cooking class on sauces and the information in this chapter correlates with what I learned there. Emulsified sauces intrigue me. I guess it’s from all those times I shook up solutions in a separatory funnel, and often had a nasty emulsion at the interface of the aqueous and hydrocarbon layers. Emulsions in the lab were a pain in the neck, but an emulsion in a salad dressing is a wonderful thing. Kitchen Science has several “experiments” on making emulsified and other sauces, like Hollandaise, Vinaigrette, and Maltese Falcon Custard, and Mornay Sauce. How fun! I’d like to make them all.

In the “Seasonings” chapter, I learn that kosher salt is better than regular salt for sprinkling on food like corn on the cob because the salt crystals are larger and because they have a more jagged configuration, and thus cling better to food surfaces. “Kosher salt is so named because it was specially developed as an aid for Jews who adhere to kosher dietary laws, one of which requires that as much blood as possible be removed from meat before it is cooked; the characteristics of kosher salt make it better suited for drawing out the blood”. MSG, monosodium glutamate, highlights the flavor of salt, but leaves a peculiar off-flavor. Hot chili peppers are more popular in tropical (hot) zones because they cool the body, perk up the appetite, and add zest to a bland diet (veggies and seafood in the tropics are bland, according to Kitchen Science). Hot chilis are a preservative, swamp the telltale tase of spoilage, reduce the incidence of diarrhea, and aid digestion by accelerating the flow of gastric juices.

“Oils and fats” explains that an oil is a fat, but it is common practice to use the term “fat” for those fats that are in a solid state at room temperature. Shortening can be made from animal or vegetable fat; those based on vegetable oil are made solid by hydrogenation.

I learned something about unbleached flour in the baking chapter. (I also discussed unbleached flour here.) According to Howard Hillman, unbleached flour has a more natural taste because it has not been treated with bleaching chemicals. However, unbleached flour must be aged for several months to strengthen its gluten content; bleaching artificailly ages the flour so it can be sold right away. Thus, bleaching the flour is not only a cosmetic preference demanded by the consumer, as I always thought, but also a way to get a product to market faster. I learn that sifting flour is no longer necessary (yay!), because “Most modern baking recipes are based on the measured volume of unsifted flour, partly because the flour sold today is not as compacted as it was in our grandparent’s day. But even if the flour of yesteryear didn’t need sifting for lightness, it probably would have been best to sift it anyway to remove insects and other impurities.”

Pages 258-262 give and describe a list of about twenty common food additives. Granted, it’s not as complete as J. Michael Lapchick’s book The Label Reader’s Pocket Dictionary of Food Additives, but this list is still useful.

The last chapter is a potpourri of science facts about foods. In this chapter is a 6-page principle-illustrating recipe on how to make a souffle. I think I’ll review this section next time I make a souffle for dinner (one of our favorite meals).

For this blog, I decide to boil eggs. Ha, what can be easier? Who needs a recipe? Well, there are a lot of controversies on how to properly boil an egg. Some start in cold water, for instance. As I stated above, I always use the method described in Kitchen Science. (Please read the first sections of this blog entry to find out why I poke holes in the eggs before boiling.)

Hard Boiled Eggs

Step 1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil, then turn the heat down a bit so that it’s boiling but a little calmer. If it is a huge rolling boil, the eggs might hit each other while cooking, increasing the chance that they will break. But it’s important to have the water boiling because this recipe is carefully timed, and you need the water at a predictable temperature.

Step 2. While still in the carton, study the eggs you will cook. The top side should be the flatter end of the egg, the end where the air sac resides.

eggs in cartonI took the eggs out of the carton in the same order and laid them on a cloth with the upper ends to the right for each egg. Note how hard it can be to find the flatter end – sometimes both ends look the same.

eggs on clothBelow is a close-up of these same eggs. I am tilting one egg, flat side up:

eggs close up

Poke the flat side of each egg with a pushpin. Two illustrations follow. The first is an illustration I copied from Kitchen Science, where the hashed lined represent the air sac between the egg white/yolk and the egg shell:

poking an egg

This next illustration is me poking the egg with a pushpin:

push pinPoked hole:

hole in egg

Step 3. Gently lower each egg in the boiling water and watch for bubbles coming out of the egg. If air bubbles rather than egg white comes out, you have chosen the correct end. If egg white comes out, quickly remove the egg and save it for a different use.

lowering eggAs careful as I was to remove the eggs from the carton properly and poke what looked like the flatter end, one of the eggs had been put in the carton upside down was thus in the wrong orientation (the upper left egg in the pattern of six). Instead of bubbles, white goo came out when I lowered it into the boiIing water. I removed it immediately. Here is the gooey egg white coming out of the hole in the upper left egg:

egg leaking

Step 4: As soon as all the eggs are in the water, set your timer! Kitchen Science says to boil the eggs 12 to 15 minutes if you are at sea level; boiling them longer can make them turn dark green around the edges of the egg yolk.

I have always boiled eggs 20 minutes, but my kitchen is at 5300 feet. Is 20 minutes really the proper time I should use? I will do a little experiment today, and cook 3 of the eggs for 15 minutes, and 3 of the eggs for 20 minutes.

I measured the temperature of the boiling water, and it was 202˚ F.

Step 5: When your timer dings, remove the pot from the stove and immediately place the eggs in cold water to stop the cooking.

Kitchen Science says it is easier to peel the eggs when hot. So, after 5 minutes in cool water, I removed them and peeled them. And yes, the shells came off easily.

I cut each of the 6 eggs in half. In the photo below, the 15-minute eggs are on the top of the plate, and the 20-minute eggs are on the bottom.

eggs cookedConclusion: In my opinion, the 15-minute eggs were a bit undercooked. Here is a close-up, with a 15-minute egg on the left, and a 20-minute egg on the right:

eggs cooked closeupNeither has a dark green discoloration on the sides of the yolk.

So, the 20 minutes I have always used is the best time to hard boil eggs at my altitude. Maybe I did this experiment years ago, when I first got this book. But it totally makes sense that it will take longer to hard boil eggs if my boiling water is 202˚ F instead of the sea level standard 212˚ F.

It was getting to be lunch time, and I couldn’t resist putting a little salt on an egg and scarfing it up. So good! I made deviled eggs from the rest (added a little mustard and mayonnaise to the yolks, topped with a bit of paprika). We both love deviled eggs. They were gone early the next day.

Simple hard boiled eggs. A good lesson in science, and a good thing to eat.

250 Cookbooks: International Recipes

Cookbook #208: International Recipes.

International Recipes cookbookNo author, no publisher, no publication date! This is the only cookbook in my collection with none of that information. It is a community-style cookbook, typed and copied, with black and white hand-drawn illustrations. The paper and cover are 3-hole punched, and it is held together with brad-style paper fasteners.

Community cookbooks were often sold as fundraisers. Usually the recipes are attributed to different contributors, but not in International Recipes. Or at least, the organization behind the cookbook is given. Maybe someone will see my photos and recognize this cookbook! Here is the first page:

International RecipesI read through this entire book, and am impressed with the author’s work. She (I assume it was a woman, at least) set up each section with an entire menu of recipes for the particular international cuisine. She referenced a sauce from one section (a raspberry sauce) that might go with a recipe from another section (a pecan torte). Because of the consistent writing style and the cross-references, I think this book was all written by one person, although she may have collected ideas from friends of different cultures. The recipes call for canned or processed items, like bean sprouts, canned shrimp and crab, and cake mixes; canned coconut milk was not available; there are several gelatin salad recipes; and microwaves and food processors are not mentioned. All of these facts lead me to believe it was produced in the sixties or seventies. Plus, it was prepared on a typewriter, not a computer.

I decide to put in the time and go through each international recipe section and take notes. Here goes!

India: Curried Chicken Balls, Curried Shrimp, Indian Puria (a deep fried dough), Chutney (onions, apples, raisins, prunes, plums, cloves, nuts, sugar, vinegar and spices), Curried Fruit Bake (canned peaches and pears baked with butter, sugar, and curry powder), and condiments (like peanuts, cooked eggs, coconut). The Curried Shrimp serves 12, and takes 2 1/2 quarts of cooked shrimp! It also calls for 9 cups of coconut milk, with instructions for how to make this from milk and canned shredded coconut.

Poland: Barszcz (a soup made from beet juice drained from canned beets), Potrawa Kurczecia z Ryzem (stewed chicken), Zucchini w sosie (zucchini with paprika and cream), Salata (lettuce salad), Tort Marcepanowy (raspberries, sugar, yellow cake mix, almond paste).

Japan: Chicken noodle soup, Cucumber and Crab Meat Salad, Japanese Rice, a Sukiyaki similar to the recipe I got from my Japanese roommate, Mandarin-Orange Dessert (gelatin, cream cheese, whipping cream, apricot juice, mandarin oranges).

Germany: Rinds Rouladin (thin steak rolled around bacon, dill pickle, onion), Green Bean Salad, Flan Tart (German Fruit Pie), Melba Sauce (raspberries, recommended to use in another section, Vienna, with the Pecan Torte).

France: Rock Cornish Hens with French Chestnut Stuffing (calls for canned French chestnuts), Tomato Stuffed with Mushrooms (ripe tomatoes, mushrooms, sour cream, Roquefort cheese, fines herbes, sherry, almonds), Coffee Cream (milk, gelatin, sugar, instant coffee, egg yolks, shipping cream, Curacao, chocolate).

Greece: Abrak (grape leaves stuffed with lamb and rice), Braised Lamb (meatballs with onions, tomatoes and lemon juice), Stuffed Tomatoes and Eggplants (Gemistes Domates me Melzana, kefaloteri cheese), Vegetable Salad (cabbage, string beans, capers, olives, beets), Baklava (the dough is made from scratch!).

China: Sweet and Sour Meat Balls (battered and deep fried), Bean Sprout and Snow Pea Salad (canned bean sprouts and garden lettuce), Buns Stuffed with Shrimp (from-scratch yeast dough, steamed), Almond Cookies.

In the Latin Countries: Mexico, a mixed garden salad and Kahlua with ice cream; Brazil, a rib eye roast marinaded in vinegar, burgundy wine, gin, onion juice, bay leaves, garlic, tarragon, tabasco; Nicaragua, spiced cooked bananas; Spain, potatoes whipped with cream cheese, green pepper, butter, green onions, pimento, saffron, cheddar and parmesan cheeses, and then baked; Portugal, cinnamon bread (a yeast bread).

Swedish Smorgasbord: I have good coverage of Smorgasbord in my book the Encyclopedia of Cooking Volume 10. Below is the section on Swedish Smorgasbord in International Recipes.

International RecipesInternational RecipesHungary: Hungarian Gulyas (like a goulash), Wilted Cucumbers, Cole Slaw, Cream Apples.

Indonesia: Marinated Lamb (lamb cut in small cubes rolled in a ground-to-a-paste mixture of onions, garlic, salt, chili peppers, coriander, cumin, saffron, and ginger, then browned and simmered; Green Beans in Coconut Milk (again, a recipe for making coconut milk), Date and Fig Sauce (for ice cream or cake).

Italian: Antipasto, Chicken Tetrazini (different from my recipe), Parmesan Pinwheels (pastry mix with Parmesan cheese and olives), Caesar Salad, Biscuit Tortoni (a frozen dessert made with macaroon crumbs, whipping cream, sugar, beaten egg whites).

English Menu: Cornish Pasties, Yorkshire Salad (lettuce, green onions, molasses, vinegar), Devonshire Cream over Fruit (cream cheese, sour cream, whipping cream).

Russian: Pirozhki (meat filled pastries), Yablonnick (cooked apples), Beef ala Stroganoff, Health Salad a la Kiev (cucumbers, raw carrots, apples, tomatoes, lettuce, sour cream, lemon juice), Torte (a rich dessert with raspberry preserves and coconut).

I decide to keep this cookbook. I find it interesting! Plus I’d like to try the Chinese buns stuffed with shrimp, the Japanese salad with wilted cucumbers and crab meat, the Indonesian marinated lamb, and Abrak (grape leaves stuffed with lamb and rice).

For this blog, I choose to make Herb Rolls, a Viennese recipe. The entire section for the cooking of Vienna is below, to show you how the recipes are laid out and illustrated. I’d also like to make the Pecan Torte someday, and maybe put one of the raspberry sauces on it.

International RecipesInternational Recipes

I’ll make the Herb Rolls in my breadmaker and see how it goes. I don’t need 3 dozen rolls, so I’ll halve the recipe. Still a lot for two people, but I think these will freeze well. I like the honey in the recipe, and the all-bran cereal will add some fiber. I chose poppy seeds (instead of caraway), and added the seeds and the chopped parsley when my breadmaker “beeped” to signal it was time to add seeds to a loaf (thus they do not get grinded into the dough). I’ll use bread flour (especially since I’m flush off writing my last post on French Bread).

It’s important to make this bread on a preheat dough cycle, because the bran cereal needs some time to soak and become mushy.

Herb Rolls (breadmaker instructions)
makes 16

Add the following ingredients to a bread machine in the order given:

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup all-bran cereal (I used the “buds” form; either would work)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 3/8 cup unbleached bread flour

Set the machine to a preheat dough cycle that has a rising step and push the start button. Have ready to add at the “beep” that signals time to add seeds, raisins, nuts or the like:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 generous teaspoon poppy seeds

While the dough kneads and rises, set out at room temperature 2-3 tablespoons butter (preferrably unsalted) so that it softens. Add to this butter minced garlic, 1-2 medium cloves.

When the dough is ready, take it out onto a breadboard and knead it a few time to spread the yeast around. Then, cut the dough into two equal pieces. Roll each piece into a circle about 10-12 inches in diameter. Put half of the softened butter-garlic mixture on top of each circle, then cut each into 8 pie shaped pieces. Roll each pie shape, starting from the pointy end:

Herb Rolls doughI put the rolls on 2 parchment-lined half sheet pans and let them rise about 20 minutes (my kitchen was warm). I learned from experience that the rolls bake up best if you tuck the pointy ends under the rolls.

Herb Rolls risen

Bake for 25 minutes at 400˚.

Herb RollsA “yum” for this recipe! These are soft and tasty, and fun to make. The bread machine method worked great. I put some of the rolls in the freezer for later use. Yes, I’d make these again!

250 Cookbooks: Foods of the World Supplement Number One

Cookbook #207: Foods of the World Supplement Number One, Time-Life Books, NY, 1968, revised 1974.

Foods of the World Supplemnt One cookbookI own 5 of the 27 Foods of the World volumes produced by Time-Life Books, and have covered 4 of them so far: Cooking of Provinvial France, Cooking of China, Cooking of Vienna’s Empire, and Cooking of Japan. I subscribed to the series for a time – they came in the mail. The Foods of the World Supplement Number One was a “bonus”, according to the “memo to the subscriber” in the preface. I find today that the Foods of the World cookbook series is important enough to have its own Wikipedia entry. And a few online sellers offer the entire set for about $200. Although there are 27 volumes in the entire series, there are only 2 supplements: the one I have and one on deep frying.

Foods of the World Supplement Number One is 25 pages long, and “bound” with two big staples. (The Foods of the World series each came as one traditionally bound book and a spiral bound recipe booklet.) Each page of this supplement is marked with cutting lines, so that “the recipe pages may be clipped for insertion in your Recipe Booklets”.

Here is the list of contents:

  • A Primer on Rice
  • Menu Suggestions
  • An American Approach to French Bread
  • Tomato-Cheese Pie
  • Casserole-Roasted Chicken with Vegetables
  • Cheese Pie (Crostata di Ricotta)
  • Rabbit Stewed in White Wine Sauce
  • A Shopper’s Guide to Foods and Utensils

The “Primer on Rice” discusses rice around the world, rice in the US, a diagram of a kernel of rice and how it is milled into different products, and ways of cooking rice. Since I almost always cook rice in my electric steamer, I really don’t need this information. But, I think I’ll clip out these pages and put them in the extensive rice section in my Encyclopedia of Cookery Volume 10.

“Menu Suggestions” is a two-page list of menus combined from 4 volumes of the Foods of the World series. Since I don’t own all of those 4 volumes, it isn’t very useful to me.

“An American Approach to French Bread” discusses the difficulties of making good French bread in home kitchens:

page 12Note in the above discussion that in France, most people buy their bread fresh daily in the bakeries, or boulangerie. (We saw the truth of this when we visited Paris.) So why even try baking French bread in America? I think because good French bread might have been hard to find here, even in bakeries. Or, unbleached bread flour was hard to find in the U.S. Or, Julia Child and others saw a challenge and rose to it! The recipe for French on the page following the above excerpt was adapted in the Foods of the World Kitchens from a combination of a number of recipes other than Julia Child’s.

I’ll get to that recipe later, since I too wanted to make good French bread at home. I studied the recipe in Foods of the World Supplement Number One a lot! The pages around this discussion and recipe are obviously well-used. Over a period of years, I made my own changes and baked a lot of these French loaves. I will make French bread for this blog and share my discoveries.

“Tomato-Cheese Pie” (Tarte à la Tomate) is a main dish pie using pâte brisée, or pie crust. Their crust recipe calls for flour, chilled butter, chilled shortening, and water, but not any of my beloved vodka, so if I decide to make this pie I would use my own recipe. The pie filling is Gruyère chese slices topped with drained tomato slices, salt and pepper, fresh basil, a little Parmesan cheese, and melted butter. Sounds like a very rich meatless pizza! Yes, I’m sure Tarte à la Tomate would be good, but dang rich.

“Casserole-Roasted Chicken with Vegetables” (Poulet en Cocotte Bonne Femme) is a lovely roasted chicken, prepared in a stove top to oven casserole, such as a LeCreuset. The chicken is first seasoned with garlic, thyme, salt pork, and browned, and then baked with small white onions, carrots, potatoes cut in 2-inch olive shapes, and a Bouquet garnie. The sauce is finished on stove top. Like Tomato-Cheese Pie, this recipe sounds very good.

“Cheese Pie” (Crostata di Ricotta) begins with a pasta frolla, a pastry crust made with flour, butter or lard, egg yolks, sugar, Marsala, lemon peel and salt. This crust is put in a spring form pan, then topped with a filling of ricotta cheese, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, orange peel, egg yolks, white raisins, candied orange peel, candied citron, and slivered almonds or pine nuts. This is a “dessert” pie, and I doubt I’ll ever make it.

“Rabbit Stewed in White Wine Sauce” (Sauté de Lapin au Vin Blanc) is a dish I’ll never make! I am too used to watching bunny babies and bunny adults scampering around my yard. They are cute to look at, and they are not for dinner, in my opinion.

“A Shopper’s Guide to Foods and Utensils” lists, by state, about 80-100 firms that accept mail orders. Addresses are given, but not phone numbers. And of course no web sites, since this is a 1974 publication. There are several listed in Denver, Colorado:

  • American Tea, Coffee and Spice Co. on Champa Street is no longer in business.
  • Cassidy’s Delicatessen on East Third Avenue is no longer in business.
  • May D&F Gourmet shop on 16th and Tremont Place. May D&F has changed to Macy’s bu there is a May D&F museum in Denver.
  • Denver Dry Goods Co. on 16th and California. Denver Dry goods has a Wikipedia entry only as a “historical” store.

So “A Shopper’s Guide to Foods and Utensils” is not very helpful to me any more!

Okay, I am to the end of this booklet. At first, I think to cut out and save the bread recipe and notes, and the tomato cheese pie and the roasted chicken recipe. But then, well heck, might as well keep the whole booklet!!

I will make French bread for this blog:

French breadFrench bread

Seeing this recipe again, I realize how familiar it is to me. Ages ago, before I even had a breadmaker or access to unbleached bread flour, when I was supplementing all-purpose flour with gluten flour, I worked again and again to make a great loaf of French bread. Since that period of time my breadmaking has gone through a couple of evolutions, first using a KitchenAid mixer to knead the dough, then a breadmaker to knead and rise the dough, then to no-knead breads as well as breadmaker breads. I haven’t returned to this old recipe in years. This should be fun!

To start, I will incorporate my own suggestions when I make it in my kitchen today in 2017. Note that I two-thirds the recipe and made two baguettes instead of three. This is because I had purchased this two-loaf baguette pan:

baguette panI also added 1 egg white to the dough. I forget where I got that idea, but I found it essential for making a good loaf. I also added 1 tablespoon shortening – I forget why. I discovered early on the advantage of adding vital wheat gluten flour to my loaves, so the changes I made to the recipe include using 1/2 cup gluten flour in the total 4 cups of flour, (the rest was all-purpose flour).

Today, I am able to buy unbleached bread flour, a flour that Julia Child said was not available in America in the 1970s. This type of flour has a high gluten content, so I will not add additional gluten flour. Since th 1990s, I have used a breadmachine to knead and rise my kneaded breads, so I will do so with this recipe too. I like butter better than shortening, so will make that substition. I know my Red Star Active Dry Yeast very well, since I buy it in bulk and store it in my freezer. I never pre-proof this yeast, I just toss it in the breadmaker and I know my breadmaker and that it rises bread at a consistent temperature. I will eliminate the second rise. After I form the loaves, I will let it rise only 20-30 minutes before baking – as I said, I know my yeast, and this shorter time should work.

French Bread
makes 2 baguettes

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (this is equivalent to one small package)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter (preferrably unsalted)
  • 4 cups unbleached bread flour (King Arthur flour brand)
  • some cornmeal or semolina for the baking pan
  • a mixture of 1/2 teaspoon salt in 1/2 cup water for brushing the bread.

Put the water, milk, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, and unbleached bread flour in a bread machine. Set the cycle to a dough cycle that includes a pre-warm step, a kneading step, and a rising step. At the end of the cycle, take the dough out of the machine and set in on a bread board.

Form the dough into two long loaves, about 15 inches long (I used a tape measure!) and about 2 inches in diameter. I set the loaves in my two-baguette pan that I had lightly greased and shaken with cornmeal. You can also use a half-sheet pan lined with parchment paper and sprinkled with cornmeal or semolinal.

Preheat the oven to 400˚.

Let the dough rise 20-30 minutes, or until it has just crested the top of the pan. Next, you need to slash the tops of the loaves. (I had to take them out of the pan to do this.) With a very sharp knife, make diagonal slashes on the tops of the loaves, about 1/2 inch deep at 2-inch intervals.

French bread dough

(Put the slashed bread back in the pan if necessary.)

Brush the tops of the loaves with the salt water mixture.

Bake the loaves in a 400˚ oven for 15 minutes. Open the oven and again brush the tops of the loaves with the salt water mixture. Lower the oven temperature to 350˚ and bake for 10 minutes. Again brush with salt water, then bake another 20 minutes at 350˚.

French BreadI am very pleased with the results. Granted, I made some of the slashes too deep so it may not look perfect, but the crust is golden brown and good and crunchy. The inside has a good “crumb”, sort of halfway between kneaded breads and no-knead breads. (No-knead breads are more like the artisan loaves we buy locally.) I like the flavor, too. Some chefs argue that true French bread has no milk or butter in it, but I like it this way.

Success! I am glad I re-found and updated this French bread recipe. I will definitely make it again.

Note: I have the cookbook From Julia Child’s Kitchen and will cover it sometime in the near future. I’ve been putting it off since I know it will be a project! But I will look to see if she includes a French bread recipe and if so, what that recipe is.

250 Cookbooks: Portable Electric Cookery

Cookbook #206: Portable Electric Cookery, Bonnie Brown, Sunbeam Corporation, Chicago, Illinois, 1970.

Portable Electric Cookery cookbookI wrote in my database that Portable Electric Cookery “came with my deep fat fryer”, and it has recipes written for deep fat fryers, electric fry pans, blenders, and electric mixers. I covered the deep fat fryer in Sunbeam Cooker and Deep Fryer, the fry pan in  Hamilton Beach Automatic Heat Control Appliances, and  my old portable electric Sunbeam mixer in Sunbeam Deluxe Mixmaster Mixer.

When I opened this booklet this week, I expected it to be “just another manufacturer’s cookbook”. But no, this one is written by a real person, Bonnie Brown, and her personality is reflected throughout the book. For instance, the table of contents is: Appealing Appetizers, Superb Soups, Magic with Meats, Fabulous Fish . . . you get the idea! Cutesy titles repeating first letters.

And what of the recipes? Surprisingly, I find some that are interesting. We had “Osso Buco” – braised lamb or veal shanks – at a local restaurant and I made it at home because we liked it so much. The Osso Buco recipe in Portable Electric Cookery includes lemon peel and anchovies – I think we’d like that. Savory Lamb Chops, simmered with olive oil, onion, carrots, tomatoes, sherry, and mushrooms sound good. So do the Lamb Shoulder Chops, Pizza Style (simmered in a sauce and covered with mozzarella cheese).

The Perfect Poultry chapter has a lot of recipes for bone-in chicken pieces. Several years ago, stores in my area stopped selling packages of “whole chickens, cut up”, like the “Pick of the Chix” I bought for years. Today I have to buy breasts, thighs, legs, and wings separately, which can be a pain. Or, I have to cut up a whole chicken myself. Anyway, the recipes in this chapter include old standbys like Chicken a la King and Chicken Stroganoff and Chicken with Dumplings, as well as many simmered chicken recipes with a variety of seasonings, like tarragon and ginger. “Flaming Breast of Chicken” is a recipe for boned chicken breasts in a rich egg yolk, mushroom and scallion sauce, cooked in the electric fry pan, and covered with brandy and flamed just before serving.

Candied Sweet Potatoes reminds me of the candied sweet potatoes my mother always made for Thanksgiving. I’ve lost her recipe, but the recipe in Portable Electric Cookery is probably about how she made them. Cherries Jubilee is a cooked-at-the-table recipe that would work well using the electric fry pan, in fact, the recipe says not to use a non-stick pan. Briefly, dark sweet cherries are boiled with a bit of cornstarch, then sprinkled with sugar. Then, you cover them with warmed brandy, ignite the brandy, and spoon the cherries over vanilla ice cream.

Sukiyaki is a dish I learned how to make from my Japanese college roommate, and I always make it in the electric fry pan. The recipe in ortable Electric Cookery is similar to mine. The Delectable Desserts chapter has an interesting recipe for Baked Alaska.

Guess I’ve decided to keep this cookbook. The recipes are from scratch, and include a variety of meats and seasonings influenced by different cultures. I am pleasantly surprised! Most of the recipes, though, I’d cook in my current selection of stove top pans, electric slow cookers, Kitchen Aid mixer, and a food processor rather than a blender.

I like the recipe for “Mandarin Beef” in the “Cooking with a Foreign Flavor chapter”. It has a sauce of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and tomatoes. Tomatoes in a stir fry is a new twist, so I decide to make this recipe for this blog.

Mandarin Beef recipeI don’t feel like pulling out my electric fry pan, so I’ll just use one of my stove-top frying pans. For the two of us, I’ll halve the recipe. Instead of the canned bean sprouts, I will substitute with julienned zucchini (I would have used fresh bean sprouts, but forgot to buy them!). I did have mushrooms, so I used them in this dish. And I’ll use fresh ginger and garlic. Tomatoes and fresh ginger and garlic remind me of the base for many dishes my daughter cooked for us in Togo. I think we will like this Mandarin Beef.

Mandarin Beef
serves 2

  • 12-16 ounces flank steak, cut across the grain into very thin strips
  • 2 cloved garlic, chopped fine
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • one tomato, quartered
  • 1 small green pepper, cut into chunks
  • fresh bean sprouts, or julienned zucchini
  • sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in a little water

Heat a little oil in a wok or fry pan. Add the beef, garlic, ginger, and salt and pepper, and brown the beef over fairly high heat.

Turn down the heat and add the soy sauce and sugar and cook and stir about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, green pepper, bean sprouts (or zucchini), and mushrooms and cover and cook about 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch/water mixture, and cook and stir until the dish is slightly thickened.

Serve over rice (I used jasmine rice).

Below is a photo of the meat and vegetables ready for the stir fry.

Mandarin Beef

I totally forgot to take a photo of the cooked meal! It smelled so good and we were hungry – that’s my excuse. It was very good and I would make it again.

250 Cookbooks: Encyclopedia of Cookery, Volume 10

Cookbook #205: Encyclopedia of Cookery, Vol. 10, Q-Sor, Woman’s Day, Fawcett Publications, NY, 1966.

Encyclopedia of Cookery 10 CBI have a set of twelve Encyclopedia of Cookery volumes and this is the tenth of that set – I covered the first nine in previous posts. I’ve enjoyed all of them so far! This volume covers curious and helpful information about foods from (q)uail to (sor)rel.

I settle in to page through this book. A “quail is” a small gallinaceous game bird. Now that’s a word I don’t know! I find that “gallinaceous” refers to to birds of the order Galliformes, “an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds that includes turkey, grouse, chicken, New World quail and Old World quail, ptarmigan, partridge, pheasant, junglefowl and the Cracidae.” I’ve never seen a quail in a store (nor have I looked for one), but in 1966 here is their availability:

page 1517“Quantity cooking” is covered in about ten pages of handy hints, instructions, and recipes. Largely it is for homecooks who need to cook for community events, family gatherings, and bake sales. “Quenelles” are fish dumplings (I made these once, years ago). “Quiche” is “a savory baked custard tart thought to have originated in Lorraine, a province of eastern France bordering on Germany”. The word quiche derives from a word from a French-German dialect that means kuchen, or “cake” (and I have a longing for a kuchen I once had). Mother labelled as “delicious” the recipe for “Quiche Lorraine with Swiss Cheese”.

page 1529Rabbit, raccoon, radish, rampion (a bellflower used for its edibible root and tender young leaves). “Ratatouille” is a stew or casserole that includes eggplant, zucchini, and green pepper. A “Recipe” is: “a formula for preparing a dish. In old-fashioned usage the words ‘receipt’ or ‘rule’ were often used to mean the same thing.” Aha, back to formulas and chemistry. “Reindeer”! I hope I never have to cook one, but at least now I have a recipe.

Next is an extensive rice cookbook, with a lot of discussion about preferred ways to cook rice. I like several of the recipes in the cookbook: “Rice and Pork Casserole”, “Ham and Cheese Rice Bake”, “Bok Youguy” (chicken, rice, raisins, peanuts, coconut), “Mexican Rice and Yellow Rice”, and “Ham Jambalaya”. “Rock Cornish Hens, or Cornish Game Hens” are defined as a fowl species bred from the Cornish hen and a pea comb. Today it is defined as a hybrid chicken sold whole. I could try the “Rock Cornish Hen” recipe including pecan stuffing.

Romaine is also called “Cos” lettuce. A “Russian Cook Book” offers recipes for fare such as Selyodka (herrings), Ikra Iz Baklazhanov (eggplant caviar), Borsch, and Vatrushki (a cheese and egg tart). “Rye” is a cereal grass and rye flour is used in malt liquors, gin and Kvall (a Russian drink), as well as the rye breads that I know and love. “Saffron” is a spice made from the stigmas of the flowers of a small crocus. I bought some saffron on our trip to Turkey and discuss it in this post on my other blog. “Sago” is a starch made from the sago palm, and is a common food in the southwest Pacific. I peruse the “Salad Cook Book” with recipes for fresh lettuce and vegetable salads through fruit and molded salads.

“Salamander”! I read the paragraph under this heading, expecting to learn how to skin and cook this reptile. But no, in culinary language a “salamander” is a kitchen tool used for browning the tops of foods. One version was a long rod, flattened at one end, that was set in the fire and then waved close over the food. It has been replaced by the modern kitchen oven broiler.

“Sally Lunn” is a “bread of English origin which has become a culinary specialty of our southern states”. It’s an egg and milk yeast bread cooked in a Turk’s head mold or in muffin cups – a Turk’s head mold is similar to today’s bundt pans. According to the Encyclopedia of Cookery, “the story most often told to account for the name is that the bread was invented and sold by a girl named Sally Lunn in the city of Bath, in England, around 1700”. (I found this article online about the history of Sally Lunn bread.)

A “salmagundi” is a culinary term for “hotchpotch”, and is the name of a stew or salad dish made from leftover meats and vinegar and pickles. Salmagundi, what a neat word. “Salmon” claims a lengthy section. “Salsify” is another name for oyster plant. Salt is NaCl. (Formulas again.)

“Sandwiches” is a 14-page section including lots recipes and lots of color photos. A huge section for the lowly sandwich! Mother liked the Sloppy Joes:

page 1601I like a few of the recipes in this section, but like salads, I usually make sandwiches “on the go”, or from ideas picked up from restaurants. Many of the sandwich recipes in this book employ sandwich fillings (kind of like our current-day tuna and chicken salads) that employ a variety of ingredients, including  sardines, chopped liver, tongue, or eggs. I might make the “Ham Salad Rolls” 1604, with diced cooked ham, cabbage, celery, green pepper, egg, mustard, and salad dressing on a hot dog roll. There are also recipes for a variety of hot, cold, and open-faced sandwiches.

Sardine, sarsaparilla, sassafras. James A. Beard wrote a section on the classic sauces, and Helen Evans Brown wrote a cook book on “How to Cook Superbly: The Basic Sauces, Brown and White”.

Sauerbraten, sauerkraut, sausage (and sauerkraut and sausage often go together!). A “savarie” is a raised, nonsweet baba-like cake. Savory, scallion, scallop. Mother marked a recipe for scallops:

page 1642

“Scones” originated in Scotland. “Scrapple”, an invention of the thrifty Pennsylvania Dutch farmers, is a solid mush made from the by-products of hog butchering. “Seafood” has only a couple paragraphs and just two recipes. “Seaweed” is granted a long two-column essay written by Lucy Kavaler. “Seltzer water” is: “a mineral water containing a great deal of carbon dioxide. It comes from Nieder Selters in the Wiesbaden district of Germany. The name is also now widely used to describe an artificially prepared bottled water of similar composition”.

Semonila, sesame, shad, shallot. “Shellfish” includes a handful of recipes, as does “sherbet”. “Shortcake” is a thick cookie made with flour, sugar, sometimes eggs, and a proportionally large amount of butter or other shortening. “Shrimp” has a cook book; “sloe” is the fruit of the blackthorn, and is used to make sloe gin. “Smorgasbord” includes recipes for Swedish and American styles of this informal type of food service. Snail, snap bean. A “Snowball” is a round cookie, often rolled in powdered sugar – and I love these! I am tempted to try the recipe for “Coconut Cookie Snowballs” 1668.

Soda cracker, soda pop, soda water, sole, sorghum, sorrel (an herb). And thus ends this volume of the Encyclopedia of Cookery.

All these recipes, now what to make for this blog? So many options! I choose to make “Sally Lunn Bread”. This is basically a no-knead yeast batter bread that includes eggs, sugar, and shortening, kind of like brioche dough:

Sally Lunn recipe

Sally Lunn recipe

Instead of the shortening in the above recipe, I’d like to use butter (I consider it a more-natural fat than shortening). Also, I would like to have a bit more modern recipe, since I want to make a smaller loaf and cook it in a loaf pan instead of a bundt pan. I found this recipe on the Smitten Kitchen website:

This recipe is real similar to the Encyclopedia of Cooking recipe, but uses butter. Water is eliminated, but the water in the Encyclopedia recipe was used only to dissolve yeast, a step we can bypass today, since the Smitten Kitchen recipe is written for today’s yeast, and yeast is a critical factor in breadmaking. Below is my version, adapted from the Smitten Kitchen recipe.

Sally Lunn Bread
makes one 9×5-inch loaf; double the recipe and bake in a bundt pan for the more traditional Sally Lunn bread shape.

  • 2 cups flour (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt (use less salt if your butter is salted)
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon active dry yeast (I use Red Star active dry yeast)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter (I used unsalted butter)
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk

In a large mixer bowl, combine 3/4 cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.

Melt the butter in a small pan and then add the milk. Continue heating, but don’t let it get over about 105˚F. Gradually pour these warm ingredients into the dry mixture in the mixer. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg, yolk and another 1/2 cup flour and beat again for 2 minutes. Add the last of the flour and beat until smooth.

Scrape down the dough in the bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour or until doubled. (It’s hard to tell when it’s doubled; if it leaves an imprint when poked, it’s ready.)

Butter and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. Scrape the dough into the pan. Let rise 30 minutes.

Bake at 375˚ 35-40 minutes, or until golden to dark brown.

Below is the dough just after mixing, before rising. This is a wet, sticky dough.

Sally Lunn bread doughAfter the second rise, the dough is not quite to the top of the loaf pan. I let it rise in the pan for 40 minutes because I wanted it higher. Still, I went ahead and put it in the oven.

Sally Lunn bread risenAnd voila! After baking the bread was just over the top of the pan, and dark golden brown. The crumb of the bread was perfect.

Sally Lunn breadThis Sally Lunn bread is rich with eggs, milk, and butter, but not too sweet with sugar. The flavor is reminiscent of a brioche. The “crumb” is between a yeast bread and cake in texture. I served it with a dollop of ice cream and a lot of fresh raspberries for dessert. The next day(s), it was great toasted with jam for breakfast. Yay for Sally Lunn!

250 Cookbooks: Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook

Cookbook #204: Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook, Ideals Publishing Corp., Nashville, Tennessee, 1982.

Hershey's Chocolate CookbookThis is one of four Hershey’s cookbooks in my cookbook database. I can’t find the publication date anywhere in my copy, but online photos and details of the same book on Amazon claim “1982” as the date.

This Hershey’s cookbook was a gift to my mother from my aunt in 1993.

note in bookMother did not mark any of the recipes! This is unusual for her, especially for cookie, pie, and cake recipes, which include all of the recipes in this cookbook.

Many recipes in this cookbook include Reese’s® peanut butter chips. Kind of odd, for a “chocolate” cookbook. Maybe this product was newly on the market in 1982? Because of this ingredient, not every recipe in this cookbook has chocolate in it, which is disappointing! I find that “Reese’s” is (to this day) one of the Hershey brand names. Hmm. This make this a “brand name” cookbook.

As I page through this book today, I find a favorite old cookie recipe: Peanut Blossoms. Chocolate Drop Cookies sound good, but I have a similar recipe. I might like Macaroon Kiss Cookies, Crunchy Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chip Cookies, and Chewy Chocolate Wafers.

The pie and cake recipes all look good. Cocoa Chiffon-Cloud Pie is one I’ll save, since I once had a yearning for a chocolate chiffon pie and couldn’t find a recipe. Chocolate-Butterscotch Pie with Macaroon Nut Crust and Chocolate Banana Cream Pie, yum. I find “Red Velvet Cocoa Cake”, a recipe I once searched for ( I ended up developing my own recipe for this cake, baked at high altitude). Chocolate Fudge Cake? Who wouldn’t want that? Orange-Kissed Chocolate Cupcakes, where you take a section out of the top of a chocolate cupcake, fill it with orange cream, and top with a Hershey’s Kiss, yum again. In a perfect world, I’d be making and eating desserts like this every night of the week. But alas, it’s not a perfect world.

Since Mother didn’t mark any recipes and I simply don’t need more rich dessert recipes, I’ll scan in a few recipes, and then recycle the cookbook. I have kept Hershey’s 1934 Cookbook and Hershey’s Cocoa Cookbook for references to basic chocolate recipes, like brownies, fudge, homemade chocolate syrup, and hot fudge sauce.

I decide to make Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies for this blog. Cookies are always nice for our two-person household because the dough and/or cookies can be frozen so the we don’t have to eat them all up at once. This recipe includes a shortcut for the home cook: you can make up “Basic Cookie Mix” and then use it to make five different kinds of cookies. (Later on in this chapter, there is a Chocolate Cookie Mix to compliment the Basic Cookie Mix.)

Basic CookiesBasic CookiesI’m not sure I’ll always want to make “cookie mix” and then the cookies, so I made a half recipe of the mix, then measured it. It made enough for two different types (or batches) of cookies.

Basic Cookie Mix
makes 5 cups of cookie mix, if lightly patted down

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter

Place the flour, the two sugars, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times. Divide the shortening and butter into chunks and scatter across the dry mixture. Cover the processor and pulse 10-20 times, until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups basic cookie mix, lightly patted into the measuring cups
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or a bit more if needed; I think I used about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped, well-drained maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet)
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 15 halved maraschino cherries, well drained

Stir the basic cookie mix whit the sour cream, cherries, and chocolate chips. Shape into 1-inch balls, then roll in the nuts.

Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Garnish each cookie with a cherry half. Bake at 375˚ for 12-15 minutes.

Cherry Chocolate Chip CookiesWow, were these ever good! Very, very tender. I realized as I made the dough that this is how I make pie crust, by first combining the flour-sugar and shortening, then blending in the wet ingredients. Usually cookies are made by combining the sugar and shortening and any wet ingredients, then adding the dry ingredients. The result of the “Basic Cookie Dough” method is that the cookies taste tender, like pie crust.

I learned how to make a very good cookie! There is always something new to learn.

250 Cookbooks: Natural Cooking

Cookbook #203: Natural Cooking, Barbara Farr, Potpourri Press, Greensboro, NC, 1971.

Natural Cooking cookbookThe title page of this booklet is marked “$1.50” in very neat handwriting. My guess is that I bought it in a Boulder bookstore, way back when. Today I could buy it for $3.95 on Amazon.

The Owl & Company Bookshop comments that Natural Cooking is a “scarce and relatively early natural food cook-book”, referring to the natural food movement that the “hippie” generation took on as its own. Barbara Farr’s Natural Cooking defines natural foods as minimally processed foods, for example, whole grains instead of white flour, foods grown without pesticides, and produce brought from farm to table as soon as possible.

There was a time when all grains and produce were grown without synthetic pesticides, and produce had to be eaten (or home-canned) quickly or it would spoil. In the early twentieth century the “food industry” grew fast, offering food processed to lengthen its shelf life. Home cooks were able to buy canned and packaged foods, and wanted more. Chemists  in the same era discovered and manufactured pesticides for greater crop yield, as well as food preservatives (additives) to give processed foods a longer shelf life. Home cooks of the 40s to 50s latched on to these convenient products.

Then came the “hippie” generation, a sub-set of the “baby boom” generation. Many hippies, children of the 1940s to the 1960s, wanted to go back to nature, and eliminate pesticides and food additives from their foods, as well as eat whole grains and freshly harvested foods (preferrably home grown). (Joni Mitchell: “Give me spots on my apples but throw away the DDT”.)

The hippie generation did not invent the movement for all natural foods. My edition of the Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, published in 1906, recommends whole grains and a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables.

I found Natural Cooking in the bibliography of this book, Secret Ingredients: Race, Gender, and Class at the Dinner Table, by S. Inness. It’s in the chapter “Recipes for Revolution“.

Natural Cooking referenceThe trend for whole grains continues today (2017). I like them because they have much more flavor than plain white bread, or white rice. Whole grains have a low glycemic index, touted in The Glucose Revolution Pocket Guide to Losing Weight as being important both for dieters and diabetics. Today, I see “low glycemic index” bars and foods advertised for fitness affectionados and dieters alike.

I sit down with Natural Cooking and slowly page through. On page 4, “Introduction”, is the quote from the inset (above), “A steaming bowl of soup, a ripe tomato still warm from the heat of the sun, and a loaf of crusty whole-grain bread; all of these are natural foods. On the other hand, a T.V. dinner is unnatural in its concept, unsatisfying in its flavor and unbeautiful to behold!”. I scanned in page 5, below, because it exemplifies the tone of Barbara Farr’s book:

Natural Cooking

Here is an excerpt from page 6, Barbara Farr’s take on food faddists:

Natural Cooking

Even though this is a small collection of recipes, it is quite varied. The recipes in this book are not vegetarian and some include cuts of meat that we less commonly use today, such as oxtails, kidneys, liver, and smoked tongue. Hummus, eggplant, stuffed grape leaves, gazpacho, quiche, and bean soups show the variety of choices. I easily find three recipes I’d like to try: Swedish Limpa, a yeast bread made with beer and a larger proportion of rye flour; Turkish Swedish Meatballs made with lots of yogurt; and Apple Krisp, with raw sugar (Turbinado sugar, like I use for Creme Brulee), honey, apples, and wheat germ.

An aside: I like Barbara Farr’s paragraph on “Sweets”:

Natural Cooking

For this blog, I decide to make the Turkish Swedish Meatballs.

Turkish Swedish Meatballs recipeI cut the recipe in half for the two of us. I found the meatballs too sloppy as I formed them, so I added more breadcrumbs. I found it very hard to stir the whole wheat flour into the drippings, so next time I’d use white (AP) flour. (Not worth the trouble using whole grains for this small amount of flour, if it doesn’t work.) Below is my version of this recipe.

Turkish Swedish Meatballs
serves 2-3

  • 1 pound freshly ground beef; I used 90% lean beef from Whole Foods
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (I used my homemade whole wheat bread)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used organic, full fat plain yogurt)
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon AP flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt

Saute the onion in a little oil until it is just beginning to brown. Mix the breadcrumbs with the 1/2 cup yogurt. Mix the meat with the pepper, salt, parsley, onions; add the bread-crumb-yogurt mixture. Form into 1-inch balls. They will not form easily, as this mixture is pretty, well, sloppy:

uncooked meatballSet the meatballs to rest on a plate or breadboard. Heat your oven to broil. Find a clean broiler pan, or use a rack set over a pan to catch the drippings. Lightly oil the broiler pan or the rack, then place the meatballs on it. Broil the meatballs until they are very brown. This took me 5-10 minutes; I rotated the pan often and turned the oven to low-broil about halfway through.

Take the pan out of the oven and let it cool. Reserve any drippings for the sauce.

Transfer the drippings to a large frying pan pan and stir in the flour (I had so few drippings that I added a bit of olive oil too). Add the milk and stir until smooth. Add the 1/2 cup yogurt. Add the meatballs to the skillet, mix it all together carefully (the meatballs are delicate), then cover and simmer about 1/2 hour, or until the meat is done.

Serve over noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes, or maybe a grain like farro, freekeh, bulgur, or cracked wheat. I used whole wheat linguine.

Swedish MeatballsI was surprised at how well these went over! The first comment from my dining-partner was “ummmm, these are good!” I too liked them. Full of flavor and nice and moist.

Next time I might use a frying pan that goes from oven to stove top. Using the broiler was kind of useless, since very little fat came off these meatballs. But the step of browning under a broiler was nice, because it got these delicate meatballs nice and brown without causing them to fall apart. It kept the moisture of the meatballs inside, and after a good simmer in the yogurt sauce, they were absolutely delicious.

I will definitely keep this cookbook!

250 Cookbooks: New Pillsbury Family Cookbook

Cookbook #202: The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook, The Pillsbury Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1973.

New Pillsbury Family CookbookThe New Pillsbury Family Cookbook is one of my three most-used reference cookbooks, alongside McCall’s Cook Book (1963) and the Joy of Cooking (1964). I always reference this book when cooking a good roast, especially a rib eye roast. I also use the fruit pie baking guide. This book is well-used, but entirely readable! It’s great for basic quick bread recipes too. If I want advice on how to cook or bake anything, this is one of the three I consult. Or, if I want to compare recipes.

The tone is straightforward, no “bossiness” like Joy of Cooking. The writing style is not “chummy” either. I am very comfortable with this book and its recipes – I grew up with this type of cooking, and began cooking this way, and still do, a lot of the time. Sure I often cook more twenty-first century, exploring new ingredients and methods, but our day-to-day meals are usually pretty twentieth century. We rarely eat dinner out, and that means I’ve had to come up with meal ideas zillions of times to keep things from getting boring. The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook? I won’t let go of it!

I search the web, and discover that others must also like this cookbook. It’s labelled a “classic cookbook” and also “vintage”. Hey, I resemble that remark! (I bought it when I was only 23.) This is a five-ring loose-leaf binder cookbook. I find that it was also published as a hard-bound book (408 pages, just like mine) and is now selling for as much as $74 when in mint condition (VintageCookbook.com). Guess I’m not the only one who likes classic American cookbooks.

Pillsbury is currently a brand name used by both General Mills (Minneapolis-based) and the J.M. Smucker Company (Orrville, Ohio-based). (Wikipedia.) Pillsbury has a current website with lots of recipes. Note that Pillsbury is also the name on many of the “Bake-Off” booklets that I have covered in this blog.

One thing about this book has always made me smile: cake, candy, and pie sections come before meats and main dishes. Vegetables are last. I like cake first too! . . .  but just now I realize . . . the chapters are in alphabetical order. Geesh, that takes some of the fun out of it!

As I flip through the pages, I note several recipes I’d like to try. I like the “batter” breads in the yeast bread section, like English Muffin Bread and Dilly Casserole Bread. These are no-knead breads, and although not held overnight like the current no-knead breads I make, they give a hole-filled texture, kind of like a crunch, to the finished breads. I note an apple cake that has 2 cups of fresh apples and only 3/4 cup of flour. The Carrot Cake has honey in it, and less oil than the current very good but also very high calorie version that is my standard. It also suggests using whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour, and gives directions for baking at high altitude (5200 feet). I made notes on the Brownies and Pumpkin Bars recipes. If I make a pecan pie, I consult this book – and have post-it notes on that page. If I forget the proportions for a graham cracker crust, or want to make a pie crust from vanilla wafers or other cookies, directions are in a nice table on page 147. And page 149 is indespensible to me: a table of how to bake different sizes and kinds of fruit pies.

Once again . . . I really do like this reference book. But let’s go on.

Pages 206-207 hold my post-it notes and magazine clippings for cooking prime rib roasts. These expensive, large roasts go on sale every holiday season, and I usually buy them to cook New Years Eve. Often with “roasted potatoes”, a delightful way to cook potatoes that my daughter and I first enjoyed in England in 2002. Today, I find a recipe for “Citrus Simmered Steak”, thick round steak that is simmered for a couple hours on the stove top. I decide to make this recipe for this blog, since I bought just such a steak yesterday on sale. Sounds like a nice, different mix of seasonings:

Citrus Simmered Steak recipeThe poultry and game chapter shows signs of “well-use”, but I haven’t marked any recipes. Today I do, though! “Golden Oven-Fried Chicken” is coated with cornflakes, almonds, and Parmesan cheese. Now, I’ve made cornflake-coated chicken for years, but almonds and cheese? No. I will make this recipe soon. (271)

The last chapters chapters show little signs of use. Seafood and outdoor cooking, salads and sauces, vegetables. I find a few basic recipes for mayonnaise, waldorf salad, tomato aspic, salad dressings, and a good selection of sauces, like mornay sauce, veloute sauce, hollandise sauce, cocktail sauce, and barbecue sauce.

Okay, time to cook! The recipe from The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook for “Citrus Simmered Steak” is above; below is my version.

Citrus Simmered Steak is simmered for a couple hours on the stove top, so I decided to pull out my big old cast iron pot. Lately I’ve been using the LeCreuset for braising; it’s nice that it goes from stove tip to oven. But I haven’t used the cast iron pot in ages, and thought I’d re-familiarize myself with the benefits of this pot. I suggest any covered, large pot you have, but the heavier the better.

Citrus Simmered Steak
serves about 4

  • 1 3/4-2 pounds round steak, at least 1-inch thick (often, this cut of round steak is called “London broil” in our supermarkets)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (approximate)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • pepper
  • 1 small can mushrooms, stems and pieces, drained (these days, “small” mushroom cans are 7 oz.), or use fresh, sliced mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, chopped or sliced
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 thinly sliced and seeded lemon

Heat the oil in a large pot on the stove top. Salt and pepper the meat, then cut it into large chunks that will fit into the pot. Brown the meat on both sides. Add mushrooms, onion, ketchup, soy sauce, lemon peel and lemon juice, and thyme. Simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender. Check and stiir occasionally and add a little water if it looks like the mixture is drying out.

When the meat is done, remove it from the pan and set aside. Combine the sugar and cornstarch, then mix in the 1/4 cup water. Add this mixture to the pan and stir into the drippings, heating until bubbly and thick. Add more water if you think it’s too thick. Add the sliced lemon to this gravy, and then add the meat back in. Simmer a few minutes for the flavors to blend.

Slice the steak across the grain (yes, it’s kind of messy to do this). I served the steak-sauce mixture over store-bought gnocchi (because I like them!), but it would also be good over mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.

Citrus Simmered SteakThis was tasty and flavorful I left most of the lemons off my husband’s serving because I wasn’t sure he’d like them. The Swiss/round steak was a bit like, well, like “round steak”. I always find this cut of meat rather chewy and flavorless, no matter how I cook it. With the sauce and the long cooking, though, it did make a good week night meal. I scraped the sauce off the leftover meat, sliced it thinly, and it made a yummy sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce, and ketchup. The last bit of leftover meat went into tacos.

Of course, I am keeping this cookbook!