One of America’s Favorites – Stuffing

December 10, 2018 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stuffing a turkey

Stuffing or filling is an edible substance or mixture, normally consisting primarily of small cut-up pieces of bread or a similar starch and served as a side dish or used to fill a cavity in another food item while cooking. Many foods may be stuffed, including eggs, poultry, seafood, mammals, and vegetables, but chickens and turkey are the most common. Stuffing serves the dual purpose of helping to keep the meat moist while also adding to the mix of flavors of both the stuffing and the thing it is stuffed in.

Poultry stuffing often consists of dried breadcrumbs, onion, celery, salt, pepper, and other spices and herbs, a popular herb being sage. Giblets are often used. Popular additions in the United Kingdom include dried fruits and nuts (notably apricots and flaked almonds), and chestnuts.

 

 

Stuffed turkey

It is not known when stuffings were first used. The earliest documentary evidence is the Roman cookbook, Apicius De Re Coquinaria, which contains recipes for stuffed chicken, dormouse, hare, and pig. Most of the stuffings described consist of vegetables, herbs and spices, nuts, and spelt (an old cereal), and frequently contain chopped liver, brains, and other organ meat.

Names for stuffing include “farce” (~1390), “stuffing” (1538), “forcemeat” (1688), and relatively more recently in the United States; “dressing” (1850).

 

 

In addition to stuffing the body cavity of animals, including birds, fish, and mammals, various cuts of meat may be stuffed after they have been deboned or a pouch has been cut into them. Popular recipes include stuffed chicken legs, stuffed pork chops, stuffed breast of veal, as well as the traditional holiday stuffed turkey or goose.

Many types of vegetables are also suitable for stuffing, after their seeds or flesh has been removed. Tomatoes, capsicums (sweet or hot peppers), vegetable marrows (e.g., zucchini) may be

Stuffed Parasol mushroom

prepared in this way. Cabbages and similar vegetables can also be stuffed or wrapped around a filling. They are usually blanched first, in order to make their leaves more pliable. Then, the interior may be replaced by stuffing, or small amounts of stuffing may be inserted between the individual leaves.

It is sometimes claimed that ancient Roman and medieval cooks stuffed animals with other animals. An anonymous Andalusian cookbook from the 13th century includes a recipe for a ram stuffed with small birds. A similar recipe for a camel stuffed with sheep stuffed with bustards stuffed with carp stuffed with eggs is mentioned in T.C. Boyle’s book Water Music.

British celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has championed the ten-bird roast, calling it “one of the most spectacular and delicious roasts you can lay before your loved ones at Yuletide”. A large turkey is stuffed with a goose, duck, mallard, guinea fowl, chicken, pheasant, partridge, pigeon, and woodcock. The roast feeds approximately 30 people and, as well as the ten birds, includes stuffing made from two pounds of sausage meat and half a pound of streaky bacon, along with sage, and port and red wine.

In the United States and eastern Canada, multi-bird dishes are sometimes served on special occasions.

 

Stuffed orange pepper

Almost anything can serve as a stuffing. Many popular Anglo-American stuffings contain bread or cereals, usually together with vegetables, herbs and spices, and eggs. Middle Eastern vegetable stuffings may be based on seasoned rice, on minced meat, or a combination thereof. Other stuffings may contain only vegetables and herbs. Some types of stuffing contain sausage meat, or forcemeat, while vegetarian stuffings sometimes contain tofu. Roast pork is often accompanied by sage and onion stuffing in England; roast poultry in a Christmas dinner may be stuffed with sweet chestnuts. Oysters are used in one traditional stuffing for Thanksgiving. These may also be combined with mashed potatoes, for a heavy stuffing. Fruits and dried fruits can be added to stuffing including apples, apricots, dried prunes, and raisins. In England, a stuffing is sometimes made of minced pork shoulder seasoned with various ingredients, sage, onion, bread, chestnuts, dried apricots, dried cranberries etc. The stuffing mixture may be cooked separately and served as a side dish. This may still be called stuffing or it may be called dressing.

 

 

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) states that cooking animals with a body cavity filled with stuffing can present potential food safety issues. These can occur because when the meat reaches a safe temperature, the stuffing inside can still harbor bacteria (and if the meat is cooked until the stuffing reaches a safe temperature, the meat may be overcooked). For turkeys, for instance, the USDA recommends cooking stuffing/dressing separately from the bird and not buying pre-stuffed birds. (Stuffing is never recommended for turkeys to be fried, grilled, microwaved, or smoked).

 

Advertisements

One of America’s Favorites – Buffalo Wings

December 3, 2018 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Buffalo wings with blue cheese dressing

A Buffalo wing, in the cuisine of the United States, is an unbreaded chicken wing section (flat or drumette) that is generally deep-fried then coated and/or dipped in a sauce consisting of a vinegar-based cayenne pepper hot sauce and melted butter prior to serving. The Buffalo wing was invented in 1964 at Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York by Teressa Bellissimo. They are generally served hot, along with celery sticks and/or carrot sticks with blue cheese dressing for dipping.

Buffalo wings have gained in popularity in the United States and abroad, with some North American restaurant chains featuring them as a main menu item. The name “Buffalo” is now also applied to other spiced fried foods served with dipping sauces, including boneless chicken “fingers”, chicken fries, chicken nuggets, popcorn chicken, and shrimp. It also describes other dishes, such as pizza, that are seasoned with the Buffalo-style sauce or a Buffalo flavor seasoning.

There are several different claims about the invention of Buffalo wings. One of the claims is that Buffalo wings were first prepared at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, by Teressa Bellissimo, who owned the bar with husband Frank in 1964. At the time chicken wings were inexpensive and undesirable, primarily being used for stock or soup.

Several versions of the story of the invention of the Buffalo wing have been circulated by the Bellissimo family and others including:

* Upon the unannounced, late-night arrival of their son, Dominic, with several of his friends from college, Teressa needed a fast and easy snack to present to her guests. It was then that she came up with the idea of deep frying chicken wings (normally thrown away or reserved for stock) and tossing them in cayenne hot sauce.
* Dominic Bellissimo (Frank and Teressa’s son) told The New Yorker reporter Calvin Trillin in 1980: “It was Friday night in the bar and since people were buying a lot of drinks he wanted to do something nice for them at midnight when the mostly Catholic patrons would be able to eat meat again.” He stated that it was his mother, Teressa, who came up with the idea of chicken wings.
* There was mis-delivery of wings instead of backs and necks for making the bar’s spaghetti sauce. Faced with this unexpected resource, Frank Bellissimo says that he asked Teressa to do something with them.
Although an article published about the Anchor Bar in a local newspaper during 1969 does not mention Buffalo wings, a local competitor of the Anchor Bar, Duff’s Famous Wings, began selling Buffalo wings in that year.

* Another claim is that a man named John Young, who moved to Buffalo from Alabama in 1948, began serving uncut chicken wings that were breaded, deep fried and served in his own special

A cook preparing Buffalo wings

tomato based “Mambo Sauce” at his Buffalo restaurant beginning in 1964. Prior to opening his restaurant he had a conversation with a boxer who traveled and in a later interview Mr. Young recalled: “He told me that there was a restaurant in Washington, D.C. that was doing a good business with wings and I decided to specialize”. In the same interview Young stated that the Anchor Bar didn’t offer Buffalo wings as a regular menu item until 1974. He registered the name of his restaurant, John Young’s Wings ‘n Things, at the county courthouse before leaving the Buffalo area in 1970. In 2013, at the National Buffalo Wing Festival, held in Buffalo, New York, John Young’s contributions were acknowledged when he was inducted into the festival’s National Buffalo Wing Hall of Flame.

In 1977 the city of Buffalo issued an official proclamation celebrating Anchor Bar co-owner Frank Bellissimo declared July 29, 1977 to be Chicken Wing Day. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s Buffalo wings gained in popularity as a bar food and appetizer across the United States and Canada. Large franchises specializing in Buffalo wings have emerged, notably Buffalo Wild Wings founded in 1982 and Hooter’s in 1983. McDonald’s began selling Mighty Wings as an optional item in 1990 at their restaurant locations in the United States. In 1994, following four Super Bowl appearances by the Buffalo Bills football team, the Domino’s pizza chain added Buffalo wings to their national menu, followed by Pizza Hut the next year.

As the market for chicken wings became larger, restaurants began to create and use a variety of sauces in addition to buffalo sauce. Some of these new chicken wing sauces were influenced by Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Caribbean, and Indian cuisines. Other flavors created by restaurants include unique combinations, such as Blueberry BBQ Wing Sauce and Maple/Bacon Glaze for example, to help keep customer interest and grow their businesses. Because of the increased cost in the price of chicken wings, and a desire by some diners for a neater eating experience, restaurants began to offer a menu item called “boneless wings,” sometimes marketed under the name wyngz. Boneless wings are essentially small pieces of skinless, boneless chicken breast that are coated in flour and spices then fried or baked. They are usually coated in or served with similar sauces as chicken wings. The growth of popularity in recent years in Buffalo wing consumption and restaurants serving wings have led to actual and perceived shortages of chicken wings in the United States during certain times.

In many areas of the United States chicken wing festivals are held with Buffalo wings being used in competitive eating events, such as at Philadelphia’s Wing Bowl and the National Buffalo Wing Festival. It has also become commonplace for restaurants to offer a wing eating contest featuring a customer eating a certain number of wings, coated in their hottest sauce during a set period of time. Many bars and restaurants intentionally create an extra-hot sauce for this purpose, and customers are usually rewarded with their picture posted on the restaurant’s wall or website, a commemorative T-shirt, a free meal or a combination of rewards for successfully completing the challenge.

Roasted Chicken Wings

Chicken
The chicken wings used for Buffalo wings are usually segmented into three parts with the end section of the wing, called the flapper or pointer, being discarded. Typically, the wings are deep-fried in oil, without breading or flour until they are well browned. Alternatively, they may be baked, grilled, or broiled.

Sauce
Cayenne pepper, hot sauce and melted butter or margarine are the base of the Buffalo wing sauce, which may be made mild, medium, or hot. Commercial ready-to-use wing sauce is made with varying levels of spiciness. The cooked chicken wings are placed in a bowl or pot and shaken to coat the wings completely covering them in sauce before serving.

Service
Traditionally, Buffalo wings are usually served with small sticks of celery and blue cheese dipping sauce on the side. sliced carrots or whole baby carrots are often served with buffalo wings rather than the usual sides.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

November 26, 2018 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pork tenderloin sandwich (large)

The pork tenderloin sandwich contains a breaded and fried cutlet similar to the Wiener Schnitzel and is popular in the Midwest region of the United States, especially in the state of Indiana. The sandwich can first be traced back to the Nick’s Kitchen restaurant in Huntington, Indiana (near Fort Wayne).

The primary differences between a Pork Tenderloin sandwich and a Wiener Schnitzel are that the Pork Tenderloin sandwich is made exclusively using pork loin and it is deep fried instead of pan fried. The Pork Tenderloin sandwich is also usually served on a bun. There is a grilled variant of the Pork Tenderloin that omits the breading and grills the tenderloin instead of deep frying it.

A Pork Tenderloin sandwich is traditionally prepared from a thinly sliced piece of pork tenderloin, hammered thin with a meat mallet. The meat is then dipped in flour, eggs and breadcrumbs or crushed saltine crackers before being deep fried in oil. After cooking, the prepared Pork Tenderloin is then served on a hamburger bun, with the meat overlapping the bun considerably. The sandwich can be served with condiments such as mustard, lettuce, onions, pickles, and mayonnaise.

The sandwich is usually served with a side of french fries, though onion rings are often provided instead.

The primary variant of the prepared pork tenderloin is a grilled prepared pork tenderloin. This is a healthier variation as the pork is grilled instead of fried. The meat is seasoned or marinated and then placed on a grill. After cooking, the meat is placed on a hamburger bun and topped with condiments.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Turkey

November 19, 2018 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Turkey meat, commonly referred to as just turkey, is the meat from turkeys, typically domesticated turkeys. It is a popular poultry product, especially in North America where it is traditionally

A roast turkey prepared for a traditional U.S. Thanksgiving meal.

consumed as part of culturally significant events such as Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as in standard cuisine.

Turkeys are sold sliced and ground, as well as “whole” in a manner similar to chicken with the head, feet, and feathers removed. Frozen whole turkeys remain popular. Sliced turkey is frequently used as a sandwich meat or served as cold cuts; in some cases where recipes call for chicken it can be used as a substitute. Ground turkey is sold, and frequently marketed as a healthy alternative to ground beef. Without careful preparation, cooked turkey is usually considered to end up less moist than other poultry meats such as chicken or duck.

Wild turkeys, while technically the same species as domesticated turkeys, have a very different taste from farm-raised turkeys. Almost all of the meat is “dark” (including the breast) with a more intense flavor. The flavor can also vary seasonally with changes in available forage, often leaving wild turkey meat with a gamier flavor in late summer, due to the greater number of insects in its diet over the preceding months. Wild turkey that has fed predominantly on grass and grain has a milder flavor. Older heritage breeds also differ in flavor.

A large amount of turkey meat is processed. It can be smoked and as such is sometimes sold as turkey ham or turkey bacon, which is widely considered to be far healthier than pork-based bacon. Twisted helices of deep-fried turkey meat, sold as “turkey twizzlers”, came to prominence in the UK in 2004 when chef Jamie Oliver campaigned to have them and similar foods removed from school dinners.

Unlike chicken eggs, turkey eggs are not commonly sold as food due to the high demand for whole turkeys and lower output of eggs as compared with other fowl (not only chickens, but even ducks or quail). The value of a single turkey egg is estimated to be about $3.50 on the open market, substantially more than an entire carton of one dozen chicken eggs.

Turkeys are traditionally eaten as the main course of Thanksgiving dinner in the United States and Canada, and at Christmas feasts in much of the rest of the world (often as stuffed turkey).

Turkey meat has been eaten by indigenous Peoples from Mexico, Central America and the southern tier of the United States since antiquity. In the 15th century, Spanish Conquistadors took Aztec turkeys back to Europe.

Turkey was eaten as such as early as the 16th century in England. Before the 20th century, pork ribs were the most common food for the North American holidays, as the animals were usually slaughtered in November. Turkeys were once so abundant in the wild that they were eaten throughout the year, the food considered commonplace, whereas pork ribs were rarely available outside of the Thanksgiving-New Year season. While the tradition of turkey at Christmas spread throughout Britain in the 17th century, among the working classes it became common to serve goose, which remained the predominant roast until the Victorian era.

In the UK in 2009, 7,734,000 turkeys were consumed on Christmas Day.

Turkey with mole sauce is regarded as Mexico’s “national dish”.

Both fresh and frozen turkeys are used for cooking; as with most foods, fresh turkeys are generally preferred, although they cost more. Around holiday seasons, high demand for fresh turkeys

Roast turkey

often makes them difficult to purchase without ordering in advance. For the frozen variety, the large size of the turkeys typically used for consumption makes defrosting them a major endeavor: a typically sized turkey will take several days to properly defrost.

Turkeys are usually baked or roasted in an oven for several hours, often while the cook prepares the remainder of the meal. Sometimes, a turkey is brined before roasting to enhance flavor and moisture content. This is done because the dark meat requires a higher temperature to denature all of the myoglobin pigment than the white meat (very low in myoglobin), so that fully cooking the dark meat tends to dry out the breast. Brining makes it possible to fully cook the dark meat without drying the breast meat. Turkeys are sometimes decorated with turkey frills, paper frills or “booties” that are placed on the end of drumsticks or bones of other cutlets.

In some areas, particularly the American South, they may also be deep-fried in hot oil (often peanut oil) for 30 to 45 minutes by using a turkey fryer. Deep frying turkey has become something of a fad, with hazardous consequences for those unprepared to safely handle the large quantities of hot oil required.

For Thanksgiving in the United States, turkey is typically served stuffed or with dressing (on the side), with cranberry sauce and gravy. Common complementary dishes include mashed potatoes,

Roast turkey served with salad, sauces and sparkling juice. On the left is a log cake

corn on the cob, green beans, squash, and sweet potatoes. Pie is the usual dessert, especially those made from pumpkins, apples, or pecans.

When eaten at Christmas in the United Kingdom, turkey is traditionally served with winter vegetables including roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts and parsnips. Cranberry sauce is the traditional condiment in the northern rural areas of the United Kingdom where wild cranberries grow. In the south and in urban areas, where cranberries until recently were difficult to obtain, bread sauce was used in its place, but the availability of commercial cranberry sauce has seen a rise in its popularity in these areas too. Sometimes sausage meat, cocktail sausages or liver wrapped in bacon is also served (known as bacon rolls or “pigs in blankets”).

Especially during holiday seasons, stuffing, also known as dressing, is traditionally served with turkey. There are many varieties: oatmeal, chestnut, sage and onion (flavored bread), cornbread, and sausage are the most traditional. Stuffing may either be used to stuff the turkey (as the name implies), or may be cooked separately and served as a side dish.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Club Sandwich

November 12, 2018 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Club sandwich

Club sandwich

A club sandwich, also called a clubhouse sandwich, is a sandwich of bread (occasionally toasted), sliced cooked poultry, or fried bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. It is often cut into quarters or halves and held together by cocktail sticks. Modern versions frequently have two layers which are separated by an additional slice of bread.

The club sandwich may have originated at the Union Club of New York City. The earliest known reference to the sandwich, an article that appeared in The Evening World on November 18, 1889, is also an early recipe; “Have you tried a Union Club sandwich yet? Two toasted pieces of Graham bread, with a layer of turkey or chicken and ham between them, served warm.”Several other early references also credit the chef of the Union Club with creating the sandwich.

Other sources, however, find the origin of the club sandwich to be up for debate. Another theory is that the club sandwich was invented in an exclusive Saratoga Springs, New York, gambling club in the late 19th century.

The sandwich is known to have appeared on U.S. restaurant menus as far back as 1899. The earliest reference to the sandwich in published fiction is from Conversations of a Chorus Girl, a 1903 book by Ray Cardell. Historically, club sandwiches featured slices of chicken, but with time, turkey has become increasingly common.

Club sandwich with tater tots

As with a BLT, toasted white bread is standard, along with iceberg lettuce, bacon, and tomatoes. The sandwich is traditionally dressed with mayonnaise. Variations, however, on the traditional club sandwich abound. Some vary the protein, for example, a “breakfast club” that includes eggs or a “roast beef club.” Others include ham (instead of, or in addition to bacon) and/or cheese slices. Vegetarian club sandwiches often include hummus, avocado or spinach, as well as substitute the real bacon with a vegetarian alternative. Mustard and sometimes honey mustard are common condiments. Upscale variations include, for example, the oyster club, the salmon club, and Dungeness crab melt.

The sandwich is commonly served with an accompaniment of either coleslaw, or potato salad, and often garnished with a pickle. The coleslaw or potato salad is often reduced to a “garnish” portion, when the primary accompaniment is an order of french fries or potato chips. Due to high fat and carb content from the bread, bacon and dressing, club sandwiches have sometimes been criticized as unhealthy. In 2000, Burger King came under fire for its chicken club, which contained 700 calories, 44 grams of fat (nine of them saturated), and 1,300 milligrams of sodium, as well as the trans fat from the fryer shortening.

 

One of America’s Favorites – New England Boiled Dinner

November 5, 2018 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

New England boiled dinner is the basis of a traditional New England meal, consisting of corned beef or a smoked “picnic ham” shoulder, with cabbage and added vegetable items, often including potato, rutabaga, parsnip, carrot, white turnip, and onion. With a beef roast, this meal is often known simply as corned beef and cabbage. A similar Newfoundland dish is called a Jiggs dinner.

New England boiled dinner is a traditional meal on St. Patrick’s Day. Ireland produced a significant amount of the corned beef in the Atlantic trade from local cattle and salt imported from the

New England boiled dinner with cabbage, potato, white turnip, rutabaga, carrot, onion, and parsnip

Iberian Peninsula and southwestern France. Coastal cities, such as Dublin, Belfast, and Cork, created vast beef curing and packing industries, with Cork producing half of Ireland’s annual beef exports in 1668. Most of the people of Ireland during this period consumed little of the meat produced, in either fresh or salted form, due to its prohibitive cost. In the colonies the product was looked upon with disdain due to its association with poverty and slavery.

Corned beef was used as a substitute for bacon by Irish-American immigrants in the late 19th century. Corned beef and cabbage is the Irish-American variant of the original Irish dish of bacon and cabbage.

A “picnic ham” shoulder consists of the cured and smoked primal pork shoulder, which is cut from the lower portion of a hog’s foreleg still containing the arm and shank bones. The meat is then boiled with root vegetables for several hours or until it is tender. The resulting meat does not taste similar to a traditional ham.

Corned beef is prepared before the actual cooking of the meal by seasoning a cut of beef with salt (large grains of salt were known as corns) and spices and the natural meat juices. This meat is then placed whole, like a rump or pot roast into a crock pot, which in olden times was a ceramic pot over a fire, filled with cabbage and carrots, and, when available, red potatoes. However, after Luther Burbank’s alteration of potatoes, the potatoes were chopped when placed in the pot. Rutabaga or turnips are also common ingredients. This meal can be left in a crock pot all day but must be kept in the naturally humid environment of cooking meat. Corned beef and cabbage is often served as a whole meal.

Smoked shoulder is an exceptionally salty cut of meat. Two different methods of preparation are commonly used to decrease the amount of salt in the meat. In the first method, the meat is placed in a pot and soaked in a refrigerated cold water bath for one day prior to cooking. During the soak, the water is changed several times. The pot of meat and water is then boiled on the stovetop until the meat is tender. In the second method, the meat is placed in cold water and brought to a boil. The boiling water is then poured off, replaced with fresh cold water, and the ham is brought to a boil again. This process can be repeated several times, as deemed appropriate by the chef, before the meat is allowed to cook. A combination of both methods is also acceptable. This is a very easy meal to cook, as the salt and flavor of the meat require no additional seasonings. The ham generally must boil for several hours until it is ready to eat. The vegetables are placed in the pot and boiled with the meat; however, some chefs prefer to place them in the ham’s water after the meat has been removed to avoid overcooking.

Common condiments include horseradish, mustard, and cider vinegar.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Biscuits

October 29, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Biscuits

A biscuit in the United States and parts of Canada, is a variety of small baked goods with a firm browned crust and a soft interior. They are made with baking powder or baking soda as a chemical leavening agent rather than yeast. They are similar to British scones or the bannock from the Shetland Isles.

Biscuits, soda breads, and cornbread, among others, are often referred to collectively as “quick breads”, to indicate that they do not need time to rise before baking.

Although the American English and British English use the same word to refer to two distinctly different modern foods, early hard biscuits (North American: cookies), were derived from a simple, storable version of bread. The word “biscuit” itself originates from the medieval Latin word ‘biscoctus’, meaning “twice-cooked”.

The modern Italian baked goods known as biscotti (also meaning “twice-cooked” in Italian) most closely resemble the Medieval Latin item and cooking technique.

In the Hispanic world a bizcocho refers to an array of differing baked goods depending on the country, from Spain and throughout Hispanic America. In the Philippines, a biskotso (also spelled “biscocho”), derived from a word used by the Spanish conquerors, refers to a type of garlic bread.

The definitive explanation for the differences in the usage of “biscuit” in the English speaking world is provided by Elizabeth David in English Bread and Yeast Cookery, in the chapter “Yeast Buns and Small Tea Cakes” and section “Soft Biscuits”. She writes,

It is interesting that these soft biscuits are common to Scotland and Guernsey, and that the term biscuit as applied to a soft product was retained in these places, and in America, whereas in England it has completely died out.

Early European settlers in the United States brought with them a simple, easy style of cooking, most often based on ground wheat and warmed with gravy.

Biscuits and Gravy

The biscuit emerged as a distinct food type in the early 19th century, before the American Civil War. Cooks created a cheaply produced addition for their meals that required no yeast, which was expensive and difficult to store. With no leavening agents except the bitter-tasting pearlash available, beaten biscuits were laboriously beaten and folded to incorporate air into the dough which expanded when heated in the oven causing the biscuit to rise. In eating, the advantage of the biscuit over a slice of bread was that it was harder, and hence kept its shape when wiping up gravy in the popular combination biscuits and gravy.

In 1875, Alexander P. Ashbourne patented the first biscuit cutter. It consisted of a board to roll the biscuits out on, which was hinged to a metal plate with various biscuit cutter shapes mounted to it.

Southern chefs may have had an advantage in creating biscuits. Northern American all-purpose flours, mainly grown in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, are made from the hard spring wheats that grow in the North’s cold-winter climate. Southern American bleached all-purpose flours, originally grown in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee before national food distribution networks, are made from the soft winter wheat that grows in the warm southern summer. This summer growth results in wheat that has less protein, which is more suited to the creation of quick breads, as well as cookies, cakes and muffins.

Pre-shaped ready-to-bake biscuits can be purchased in supermarkets, in the form of small refrigerated cylindrical segments of dough encased in a cardboard can. These refrigerator biscuits were patented by Ballard and Ballard in 1931.

Biscuits can be prepared for baking in several ways. The dough can be rolled out flat and cut into rounds, which expand when baked into flaky-layered cylinders. If extra liquid is added, the

Open biscuit with honey being drizzled in it

dough’s texture changes to resemble stiff pancake batter so that small spoonfuls can be dropped into the baking sheet to produce “drop biscuits”, which are more amorphous in texture and shape.

Large drop biscuits, because of their size and rough exterior texture, are sometimes referred to as “cat head biscuits”. A common variation on basic biscuits is “cheese biscuits”, made by adding grated Cheddar or American cheese to the basic recipe.

Home cooks may use refrigerator biscuits for a quicker alternative to rolled or drop biscuits. Refrigerator biscuits can even be cooked over a campfire on a stick.

A sweet biscuit layered or topped with fruit (typically strawberries), juice-based syrup, and cream is called shortcake. A type of biscuit called an “angel biscuit” contains yeast as well, as do those made with a sourdough starter.

While there are many different ways to prepare and top biscuits, the ingredients from recipe to recipe are generally the same. Most recipes will call for all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, either milk or buttermilk, and either butter or shortening (about half will also call for a small amount of sugar as well). The amount of each ingredient will vary for each recipe much the general concept is the same for these simple baked goods.

Biscuits
Open biscuit with honey being drizzled in it

Lunch Meat of the Week – Pepperoni

October 25, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Packaged pepperoni

Pepperoni is an American variety of salami, made from cured pork and beef mixed together and seasoned with paprika or other chili pepper.

Pepperoni is characteristically soft, slightly smoky, and bright red in color. Thinly sliced pepperoni is a popular pizza topping in American-style pizzerias and is used as filling in the West Virginia pepperoni roll.

The term “pepperoni” is a borrowing of peperoni, the plural of peperone, the Italian word for bell pepper. The first use of “pepperoni” to refer to a sausage dates to 1919. In Italian, the word peperoncino (diminutive of peperone) refers to hot and spicy peppers.

Pepperoni is a cured dry sausage similar to the spicy salamis of southern Italy, such as salsiccia Napoletana piccante, a spicy dry sausage from Naples, or the soppressata from Calabria. The main differences are that pepperoni has a finer grain (akin to salami of Milan, a spiceless regional variant of salami), is usually softer, and is produced with the use of an artificial casing (instead Italian salami are produced using natural gut for casing and are made of pure pork). Pepperoni is mass-produced to meet the demand for the sausage. In most of Italy pepperoni would be considered a type of salamino piccante.

Pepperoni is usually made from a mixture of pork and beef. Turkey meat is also commonly used as a substitute, but the use of poultry in pepperoni must be appropriately labeled in the United States.

Curing, with nitrates or nitrites (usually used in modern curing agents, to protect against botulism and other forms of microbiological decay) also contributes to pepperoni’s reddish color, by

Pepperoni atop a pizza, above the diagonal cuts.

reacting with heme in the myoglobin of the proteinaceous components of the meat.

According to Convenience Store Decisions, Americans annually consume 251.7 million pounds of pepperoni on 36% of all pizzas produced nationally. Pepperoni has a tendency to curl up from the edges in the heat of a pizza oven. Some pepperoni is produced in thicker slices, so that the edges curl intentionally.

Pepperoni can also be found accompanying different types of cheeses as a cheap snack food in convenience stores or gas stations.

In Nova Scotia, deep fried pepperoni served on its own (usually with a honey mustard dipping sauce) is common pub food.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Shoofly Pie

October 22, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
Shoofly pie

Shoofly pie

Shoofly pie (or shoo-fly pie) is a molasses pie or cake that developed its traditional form among the Pennsylvania Dutch in the 1880s, who ate it with strong black coffee for breakfast. It is called Melassich Riwwelboi or Melassichriwwelkuche (molasses crumb cake) in the Pennsylvania Dutch language.

Shoofly pie is a molasses crumb cake that was baked in a pie crust. The addition of a pie crust made it easier for people to hold a piece in the hand while eating it.

It comes in two different versions: wet-bottom and dry-bottom. The dry-bottom version is baked until fully set and results in a more cake-like consistency throughout. The wet-bottom version is set like cake at the top where it was mixed in with the crumbs, but the very bottom is a stickier, gooier custard-like consistency.

A Montgomery pie is similar to a shoofly pie, except lemon juice is usually added to the bottom layer and buttermilk to the topping. Treacle tart is a pie with a filling made from light treacle.

Shoofly pie began as a crust-less molasses cake called Centennial cake in 1876, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. In the 1880s, home bakers added a crust to make it easier to eat alongside a cup of coffee in the morning, without plates and forks. Precursors include Jenny Lind cake, a gingerbread cake from the middle of the 19th century.

Because the cake contains molasses but no eggs, historians conclude that it was typically baked during the winter, when chickens laid no eggs but when molasses would store well in the cold weather. The use of baking powder places its invention firmly after the Civil War and in the 1870s, when Pennsylvania Dutch bakers began using baking powder.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Caramel Apple

October 15, 2018 at 5:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Caramel apple with peanuts

Caramel apples or taffy apples are created by dipping or rolling apples-on-a-stick in hot caramel, sometimes then rolling them in nuts or other small savories or confections, and allowing them to cool. Generally, they are called caramel apples when only caramel is applied and taffy apples for when there are further ingredients such as peanuts applied.

For high-volume production of caramel apples, a sheet of caramel can be wrapped around the apple, followed by heating the apple to melt the caramel evenly onto it. This creates a harder caramel that is easier to transport but more difficult to eat. Caramel apple production at home usually involves melting pre-purchased caramel candies for dipping or making a homemade caramel from ingredients like corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla. Homemade caramel generally results in a softer, creamier coating.

Bags of caramels are commonly sold during the Autumn months in America for making caramel apples.

In recent years, it has become increasingly popular to decorate caramel apples for holidays like Halloween. Methods used to do this include applying sugar or salt to softened caramel, dipping cooled, hardened apples in white or milk chocolate, or painting designs onto finished caramel apples with white chocolate colored with food coloring.

Classically, the preferred apples for use in caramel apples are tart, crisp apples such as Granny Smith or Fuji apples. Softer, grainy-textured apples can also be used, but are not preferred.

In addition to caramel apples, manufacturers and consumers have started to coat apples in chocolate syrup, peanut butter, etc. and adding toppings such as crushed peanuts, pretzels, mini M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, coconut flakes, and mini chocolate chips. Candy apple shops and candy apple bars have started to pop up in bigger cities, at weddings and parties to allow people to enjoy the apple with the dipping sauces and toppings they prefer.

* I always think of these around the Halloween Season. When I was growing up my Grandparents owned a small neighborhood store. Every Halloween Season my Grandmother would just make endless amounts of Caramel Apple with crushed Peanuts on them. So Good!!

 

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.

Blessings by Me

Just a bit of my life

COOKING WITH LUCE

DISCOVERING MY INNER CHEF

Cooking with Brad

A Cooking Experience

Rock in the Kitchen

Each week I try to not be the worst cook in America

Lithuanian in the USA

Lithuanian girl's recipes and life in the USA

Articuleat

Recipes & Ramblings from Chef Patron Sebby Holmes (Owner of Award Winning Thai Restaurant, Farang London & Author of Cook Thai). A place where food and writing meet. Careful! It's a mouthful

A Vintage Kitchen

classic comfort food with a modern twist

Learn Fun Facts

An Archive of Curious Facts for the Curious

angelalimaq

food, travel and musings of a TV presenter

Hankerings

From cheeseburgers to foie gras — eat what you hanker for.

Cooking Conveniently and with Purpose #LPBcooks

Relax. They never know what you actually planned to serve them...

The Wacky Spoon

- Taking you from Garden-to-Table -

Stef's Eats and Sweets

Dinner & Desserts......Made with Love

krumkaker

Cooking, baking and living in Accra: what's not to like?

Sierramichaels's Blog

Author, writer, archaeologist and traveler

Popsicle Society

It's all about you

Browsing The Atlas

Exploring one dot on the map at a time

Wellness done write

musings by melissa abbruzzese