250 Cookbooks: Encyclopedia of Cookery, Vol. 12, Top-Z-Index

Cookbook #236: Encyclopedia of Cookery, Vol. 12, Top-Z-Index, Woman’s Day, Fawcett Publications, NY, 1967.

Encyclopedia of Cookery Vol. 12 cookbookI am on the final 15 cookbooks in my “250 Cookbooks” database! It’s time to do the last Encyclopedia of Cookery in my collection. I open the volume and settle in to another discovery of unusual food items and historical trivia. As well as some useful recipes, of course. Encyclopedia of Cookery, Vol. 12, Top-Z-Index covers “topping” to “zwieback”.

A very, very useful feature is in this volume: the complete recipe index for volumes 1 to 12.  This 96-page index takes up almost half the book. It is invaluable to search the entire set for foods and recipes. I feel lucky to have the entire, intact set.

What is a torte? It is a rich cake, made with eggs, sugar, jam, liqueur, (very little) flour, and nuts or dry bread crumbs. Often a luscious filling is spread between cake-like layers. Next are recipes for tortillas (I’ve run across a lot of tortilla recipes in my journey through this blog). Tortoni is an Italian dessert made from liquor- or sherry-flavored whipped cream combined with macaroon crumbs. The mixture is put into little paper cups, sprinkled with crumbs and almonds, and frozen. Yum. Trifle is another dessert; of English origin, it is made from jam-covered, spirit-soaked sponge cake, with a rich custard and whipped cream and fancy almonds and glacé fruit on top. It’s also known as a “tipsy cake”. I’d love these three desserts, as I wake to a Valentine’s Day morning with no hopes of anything but protein and vegetables for the day.

Tripe? I actually bought it once years ago. It’s the inner lining of the stomach of beef. I don’t like it. But I do like trout, especially the rainbow trout we get in Colorado, and especially if very fresh and wild-caught. (I am not a fisherwoman. Although there are photos of me when young with a fishing pole, happily catching fish in the High Sierras.)

Enjoy with me this entry from Lucy Kavaler on legends of the elusive truffle:

And now from truffles to the lowly can of tuna. I am not surprised to find a “Tuna Cook Book” in this 1960s cookbook. “Tonno con Piselli” is tuna with peas, yes, just canned tuna and peas. The “Tuna-Macaroni Bake” is like the tuna casseroles I remember; this one is topped with crushed potato chips. (I love potato chips on tuna sandwiches.)

Turkeys are native to America. I guess I knew this fact, but it’s not the first thing I think of when I think “turkey”. They were domesticated by native Americans. Here is Ben Franklin talking about bald eagles and turkeys:

The Turkey Cook Book might be useful because it has a lot of recipes for using leftover turkey. Next come turmeric, turnip, and turnovers. Oh, turtle soup! And if I want to know how to dress a live turtle:

Upside-down cakes include a recipe for blueberry upside-down cake, which I’d surely like to try. “Utensil” gives a check list of utensils needed in a well-equipped kitchen. Let’s see, I have beaters and mixers, a blender, cutting boards, bowls, deep fryer, egg poachedr, ice-cream freezer, pressure cooker, rolling pin, teapot, thermometers, toaster . . . looks like I am good to go. Vacherin is a “delicious creamy white dessert cheese” from Switzerland or France. Vanilla is from a plant related to orchids. (And boy, has vanilla gotten expensive lately! I just bought a small bottle yesterday for nineteen dollars!) I am not a fan of veal, but this Encyclopedia has a Veal Cook Book.

James Beard wrote the section on Vegetable Cookery. He and I are like-minded: don’t overcook vegetables. I’d like to try his recipe for Braised Leeks and one for Zucchini with Walnuts. Gratin of Greens is suitable for a no-carb diet, and Tangerine Swirls is an interesting take on sweet potatoes. I learn that Vichyssoise is a “very elegant cold leek and potato soup”. It has lots of cream in it and is served cold.

A “vinaigrette” need only be a mixture of oil and vinegar, salt and pepper, but can have herbs. While traveling in Paris and London, sometimes there was a bottle of oil and a bottle of vinegar at the table, meant for salads. If it’s not mixed, I guess it’s not a vinaigrette. (My vinaigrette recipe is here.) Vinegar itself has a long history, stretching back thousands of years. Yeast fell into fruit juice and it turned into wine, and bacteria fell into wine and turned it to vinegar. “Vin aigre” is French for “sour wine”. (As a chemist, I know vinegar as containing acetic acid and water.) Here’s a section from this book on vinegar:

Vitamin, vodka, vol-au-lent (a puff pastry formed into an enormous patty shell). I’d like to try the Old-Colony Gingerbread Waffles. “Water” has it’s own entry. Water chestnuts are a “fruit of a water plant”, common in Asia, shaped like a tree-chestnut, and crispy in texture. Watercress, watermelon, and welsh rabbit or rarebit (melted cheese on toast, often with beer or wine added to the rabbit).

“Western Cookery” begins with a long essay by Idwal Jones. She describes “western” as the cooking of California, Oregon, and Washington.

“There is a mystifying phenomenon in the order of courses in the West.” Namely, salads are served first. Yay for California for starting this trend! It’s the rule at my house, and I learned it from my college roommates.

In the 1960s, one could find frozen whale steaks in local specialty food stores, and I learn that 3 1/2 ounces raw whale has 156 calories. Apparently you could still find whale meat at online specialty shops in the 1960s (and maybe online today). Lots of fish begins with “wh” – white fish, whiting, and whitebait are examples. And of course two of my favorite things begin “wh” – wheat and whiskey. Wild rice is a native American grass that is not directly related to Asian rice.

The wine entry takes up many pages. I skip them. Maybe I’ll come back to them another time.

Worcestershire sauce contains garlic, soy, vinegar, anchovies, tamarinds, onions, shallots, molasses, sugar, salt, and spices. It originated in England. Wormwood flavors the “powerful spirit” absinthe. This book states that absinthe is illegal in the US (and I think it still is, although other countries allow its sale).

Yams are tubers grown mainly in the tropics. But what about those “yams” that I see in local stores? There are a few varieties of moist-fleshed yams grown our country. Mostly, though, we see sweet potatoes. “People often think that yams and sweet potatoes are the same thing, but although they resemble each other closely in taste, they belong to entirely different families of plants.” (I discuss yams at the end of another post.)

Lucy Kavaler wrote a long article on “yeast”, and Helen Evans Brown wrote “How to Cook Superbly: Yeast Rolls and Buns”. Yogurt is a “semisolid milk product that has been made acid by the addition of bacterial cultures”. Yorkshire pudding is a savory British dish made by baking a batter of egg, milk, and flour in beef drippings.

Zabaglione is an Italian dessert of eggs, sugar, and wine, and zeppole is an Italian doughnutlike pastry. (Yes, I guess doughnutlike is a word, according to Wiktionary.) Zucchini also comes from Italy.

And the last entry, on page 1962 of the entire Encyclopedia of Cooking volumes, is zwieback. These are “a sweet biscuit or rusk which is first baked and then sliced and toasted in the oven to make it into a kind of dry toast. The word comes from the German, and means “baked twice”.

I decide to make one of the “West Coast Salads” for this blog: California Parmesan-Walnut Salad.

I like this salad for several reasons. I love toasted walnuts in salads. I like Parmesan cheese too, especially when it is freshly grated from a chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano. I like the fact that you make a special salad dressing, just enough for this salad. And, I like using “coarsely torn and loosely measured salad greens”. That’s my typical way of making salads! I am sure I used a lot more salad greens than one cup per person, though. I like my salads.

If you don’t keep small amounts of tomato juice in your pantry or refrigerator, you can use diluted tomato sauce. (I buy single serving cans of tomato juice because I often add just a bit to a sauce.) Or use V-8 juice. Or, use and entirely different salad dressing.

California Parmesan-Walnut Salad
serves 2-4

  • 1/4 cup salad oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
  • 3 tablespoons tomato juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated onion (you could use dried onion from a jar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon each: salt, pepper, sugar, and dried basil
  • about 4 cups mixed salad greens (if you use large leaf lettuce, tear it into pieces)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (toasted); whole-halves or coarsely broken
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

To toast the walnuts, heat a pan on the stove top, then add the walnuts and stir and watch constantly until they begin to brown – watch them closely because they can burn quite quickly. Or, put them in a 450˚ oven for – again – just a few minutes, watching closely.

Mix the oil, tomato juice, lemon juice, onion, and seasonings in a bowl with a whisk or in a lidded jar.

Plate the greens, sprinkle with walnuts and cheese. Pour just enough of the salad dressing to coat the ingredients lightly. (Or, place the salad ingredients in a bowl, add dressing, and toss lightly.) Serve at once.

California Parmesah-Walnut Salad recipeThis is a great-tasting salad that I will make again. Refreshing, after my usual salads overladen with fresh cut vegetables. Entirely suitable for a special dinner! Note that I used walnut halves. Coarsely broken walnuts might give a slightly different taste to this salad.

I goofed and added 1 tablespoon of grated onion instead of 1 teaspoon. Next time, I’ll either finely chop just a teaspoon of fresh onion or shallot, or I’ll use a quarter teaspoon of dried onion powder or flakes.

And so I come to the end of my coverage of the set of Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cooking, begun with “abalone” on November 19, 2012 in the Encyclopedia of Cooking, Volume 1. Abalone to zwieback. A good journey.

250 Cookbooks: The Cook’s Book, K C Baking Powder

Cookbook #235: The Cook’s Book, K C Baking Powder, Jaques Manufacturing Co., Chicago, 1935.

The Cook's Book K C Baking Powder

“In the light of scientific knowledge, cakes are no longer considered too rich for daily consumption; in fact, cake is now known to be an exceedingly well balanced food product.” Here is the statement as printed:

Can I go back to 1935? I want my cake, and to have it good for me too!

The Cook’s Book, K C Baking Powder is from the “old books” section of my shelves. It is in perfect condition! And it is older than I am! It was either my mother’s or my grandmother’s cookbook. Stunning nostalgia:

This book is all about how to use baking powder in recipes for cakes, cookies, and breads. I talked about baking powder and how it works In my post on the 1917 Ryzon Baking Book. Ryzon was a brand of baking powder sold for a short period around 1917. According to the Clabber Girl website, “KC Baking Powder was originally manufactured by the Jacques Manufacturing Company in Chicago, Illinois before the brand was purchased by the Clabber Girl Corporation in 1950.” Clabber Girl is the brand of baking powder I currently have in my kitchen.

In 1935, “wholesome foods” were important to the consumer:

How much did a can of K C baking powder cost?

Jaques Manufacturing Company was given the Distinguished Service Award.

Note the KC guarantee statement at the bottom of the page below, “An independent manufacturer. Not a member of any food combine.”

The recipes in The Cook’s Book are modern enough to follow in my own kitchen in 2018. A surprise (to me) is that they often include the ounces of ingredients as well as the volume. Sometimes they leave off the oven temperature and time or the exact size of pan, but I can live with that. Here are some recipe examples:

 

“K C Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings” is what I decide to make for this blog.

This is about the only recipe in this book that doesn’t have sugar in the dough/batter! I decide to try whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour. Other recipes in this book (but not this one) call for “entire wheat”. Entire wheat flour is wheat flour made from the whole grain, what we now know as “whole wheat flour”. Whole wheat flour has the same number of calories but a significantly lower glycemic index than white wheat flour. Briefly, the glycemic index of a food reflects how fast a carbohydrate breaks down into sugar in the body. Level sugar levels are (currently) the advice of nutritionists. Both white and whole wheat flours have the same number of calories, but the whole wheat flour has less of a tendency to cause blood sugar spikes. Sugar has the highest glycemic index of all. Since we are low-carb-ing and not no-carb-ing, we eat some bread, and whole wheat is our wheat flour of choice at the moment. I am (sadly) frowning on sugar, so I’ll use just a touch of sugar and a little no-calorie sweetener to make this qualify as a dessert. I’ll skip the suggested hard sauce made with butter and sugar.

How long and at what temperature should I bake these? The recipe doesn’t specify. Online, I found a similar recipe for apple dumplings, and they bake them at 400˚ for 50-60 minutes. I know my oven, and I think I’ll try 375˚ and check them starting at 40 minutes.

Note: I have a better recipe for Apple Dumplings, one from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. I didn’t realize I’d made these before!

K C Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings
makes 2 dumplings

  • 1 cup flour (don’t use whole wheat pastry flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening (vegetable shortening or butter)
  • about 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 apples, peeled and cored (I found my old apple-corer!)
  • cinnamon and sugar for the inside of the apples

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt; work in the shortening and mix to a dough with the milk. If necessary to make a soft dough that holds together, add more a bit more milk.

Divide the dough in half. Roll each half to a square one-third inch thick. Put an apple on each square and fill the apples with cinnamon and sugar to taste. Draw the dough up to cover each apple and make it smooth.

Bake in a lightly butter pan at 375˚ for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Apple Dumplings

These tasted good, but only healthy-good. We split one dumpling for dessert, topped with cool whip, and ate every morsel. We were very hungry! I’d say, my way with whole wheat flour is just not as good as a white flour and apples full of butter and sugar with lots of hard sauce. If you are going to have dessert, have dessert. I would not make these apple dumplings this way again.

I suggest using white flour in this recipe, and putting more goodies in the apple cores, like butter and lots of sugar, and serving them with the hard sauce or rich ice cream. Desserts are, after all, meant to be overindulgence. In this I will have to disagree with The Cook’s Book. I have learned that I can’t eat cake made with flour, sugar, eggs, and butter every day or I will gain weight and the health care professionals will say that I am not healthy. Maybe in another 78 years (The Cook’s Book is 78 years old), it will be a different story for the human population.

The last page in The Cook’s Book. A chemistry lab!

250 Cookbooks: Best International Recipe

Cookbook #234: Best International Recipe, Cook’s Illustrated, a Best Recipe Classic, America’s Test Kitchen, Brookline, Massachusetts, 2007.

The Best International Recipes cookbook

Cook’s Illustrated is one of my favorite producers of cookbooks. It is relatively “modern”, one of the five newest books in my database. Another Cook’s Illustrated Best Recipe book that I have is Cover and Bake. I talked about the style of Cook’s Illustrated books in that post. Briefly, you don’t just get a recipe, you get a page of talk about how that recipe was developed – what they tried that did and did not work. Further information about ingredients and techniques is often presented in boxes or side notes. I find that a Cook’s Illustrated recipe might take a bit more concentration to follow than common recipes, but the recipes always work for me.

I know that it will be easy to find a recipe to cook from this book. In fact, when I open to the first chapter “Mexico”, I want to cook the very first recipe! It is “Melted Cheese with Poblano and Chorizo”, or Queso Fundido. This is a “table dip” meant to be scooped up with warm soft tortillas. Three printed columns discuss how they developed this recipe, and two boxes with “pantry spotlights” give information on Mexican cheeses and chorizo sausage. What does the test kitchen discuss in this article? How to get the proper “gooeyness” of an authentic queso fundido. In a specialty shop, they found the traditional Mexican cheese, queso asadero, but what is the American cook to do if he/she can’t find that cheese? They discovered that Monterey Jack cheese is the best substitute. Next, should the cheese be shredded or cubed? They tried freshly shredded, purchased shredded, and freshly cubed jack cheese. The purchased shredded was the least favorite, as it is sold coated with an anticaking agent and the cheese “seized up” almost instantly once out of the oven. Between the freshly shredded or cubed jack cheeses, the shredded one melted “far too quickly, so that by the time the last shreds had melted the rest of the cheese had overcooked”. Cubed cheese melted fine, and they noticed the importance of removing the cheese from the oven as soon as it was melted, “as soon as the last chunk had flattened”.

And so you see what Cook’s Illustrated and the American Test Kitchen is all about. I’d love to make Queso Fundido, but it’s on my no-no list of foods this January.

I continue leafing through Best International Recipe. Here are the countries/areas covered in this book, each in a separate chapter.

  • Mexico
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • British Isles and Ireland
  • Central Europe and Scandinavia
  • France
  • Spain and Portugal
  • Italy
  • Greece and Turkey
  • Russia and Eastern Europe
  • Africa and the Middle East
  • India
  • Southeast Asia
  • China
  • Japan and Korea

I noted quite a few recipes I’d like to try. Jamaican Jerk Chicken from Latin America and the Caribbean sounds like an adventure. If I ever want to make real Fish and Chips, I’d use the recipe in the “British Isles and Ireland” chapter. ” Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage from Central Europe and Scandinavia, Braised Leeks from France, Spanish Tortilla from Spain and Portugal, and Classic Bolognese Sauce from Italy all sound interesting to try. The “Italy” chapter is particularly long.

Hmmm. It dawns on me: this book is very scientific. Where are the discussions of how the author found a particular dish in an off-road little restaurant that it took days to get to? Who were the people who cooked for them? What were their traditions? What adventures did they have in discovering new foods? Where are the stories by writers like James Beard, M. F. K. Fisher, Emily Hahn, Joseph Wechsberg, Rafael Steinberg, and Nika Standen?

I continue through this “science” book (it’s a long, large tome!). I’d like to try Chicken in Walnut Sauce from Turkey and Green Beans with Cilantro Sauce from Russia. Ethiopian Flatbread uses “teff” flour, and I study different types of grains for my personal curiosity (and a future blog post). Tandoori Chicken from India is marinated in a wonderfully spiced yogurt sauce (and I might have made it before). Pad Thai from Southeast Asia and Spicy Sichuan Noodles with Ground Pork from China sound good. Ramen Soup! This college student mainstay is discussed at length in the chapter on Japan.

For this blog, I decide to make “Tortilla Soup”. It took me awhile to get out of the first chapter, “Mexico”! Over the years, I’ve saved several tortilla soup recipes, and have probably made some version once or twice. I’ve never had tortilla soup in a restaurant, so I don’t know what traditional tortilla soup tastes like. The recipe in The Best International Recipes is low-carb, and would be no-carb if I left out the tortilla strips. But no! We are past our two weeks of no-carbs, and I will enjoy this soup as it is intended to be made.

I pretty much followed the recipe, although I cut the ingredients in half. My chicken breast was huge, but I liked the amount of meat it yielded. It’s important to shred the chicken with a fork and not just cut it into pieces with a knife. I skipped the jalapeno and found the chipotle in adobo sauce to be quite sufficient for heat in this soup. We ate almost all the soup between the two of us, but we had nothing else for the meal – I did not use the soup as a first course. Note that this soup can be prepared a day or so ahead.

(I am not scanning in the recipe for copyright issues.)

Tortilla Soup
serves 2 as a main dish

soup

  • 1 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast (the one I used weighed over a pound)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (I used my homemade broth)
  • 1/2 of a large onion, quartered and peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • cilantro, about 5 fresh sprigs (do not skip this fresh cilantro)
  • oregano, 1 fresh sprig or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tomato, cored and quartered
  • 1-2 teaspoons chipotle chile in adobo sauce (this comes in a can)
  • 4 corn tortillas

garnishes

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges (oops! I forgot to add this, but highly suggest the lime)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, pitted and diced
  • 4 ounces cheese – Jack cheese (diced) or crumbled queso afiejdo (I used Panela cheese)
  • chopped fresh cilantro
  • minced jalapeno chile (optional)
  • Mexican crema or sour cream (optional)

Put the chicken stock, chicken, one quarter onion, one clove garlic, cilantro, and oregano in a pot. Add salt if necessary. Bring to a boil and simmer on low for about 20 minutes, just until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken breast and set aside to cool. Pour the broth through a strainer, keeping the broth and discarding the strained-out solids. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, use a fork to shred it into bite-sized pieces. Set the broth and chicken aside.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Slice the 4 tortillas into 1/2-inch strips. Put about 1 tablespoon oil in a sheet pan, then add the tortilla strips and spread them out. Bake, stirring occasionally (and checking often), until crisp and dark golden, 10-12 minutes. (I baked them for 14 minutes and forgot to stir and had to toss a batch that burned.)

Puree the tomatoes, the remaining onion quarter and the remaining clove of garlic, 1 teaspoon chipotle chile, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a sauce pan over high heat until shimmering. Add the pureed mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture ha darkened in color, about 10 minutes. (I did not cook it 10 minutes; next time I will choose a heavier pan for this step. But, the soup turned out fine anyway.)

Stir in the reserved, strained chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes. The volume should be about 4 cups at this point; my volume was less so I added more chicken stock.

At this point, cool and refrigerate the soup for a day or two, if that is convenient for you. (I did!)

Taste the soup, and add more chipotle chile if you want (I didn’t – that stuff is hot!) Add the shredded chicken and heat about five minutes. Serve with the garnished.

Tortilla Soup

This was delicious! The shredded chicken was the best I’ve ever made (even before putting it back in the broth). I loved the tortilla strips in the soup. They were the perfect size, and kept a good texture or “bite”. I started with my own very good chicken stock, it’s a lot stronger in flavor than store bought kinds. I never measured it when I added it to the chicken, that’s why I have a note in the instructions to add a bit more at the end if necessary. You want the chicken covered with broth, and you want a lot of shredded chicken in the bowl.

I had both Jack cheese and a Mexican fresh, semi-crumbly cheese called Panela. The Jack cheese melts into the soup, but the Panela gets warm but stays in little flavorful chunks. Try either!