One of America’s Favorites – Cranberry Sauce

November 23, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Cranberry sauce

Cranberry sauce or cranberry jam is a sauce or relish made out of cranberries, commonly served as a condiment or a side dish with Thanksgiving dinner in North America and Christmas dinner in the United Kingdom and Canada. There are differences in flavor depending on the geography of where the sauce is made: in Europe it is generally slightly sour-tasting, while in North America it is typically more heavily sweetened.

The recipe for cranberry sauce appears in the 1796 edition of The Art of Cookery by Amelia Simmons, the first known cookbook authored by an American.

Although the Pilgrims may have been aware of the wild cranberries growing in the Massachusetts Bay area, sugar was scarce, so it’s unlikely that cranberry sauce would have been among the dishes served at the First Thanksgiving meal. Cranberries aren’t mentioned by any primary sources for the First Thanksgiving meal. The only foods mentioned are “Indian corn”, wild turkey and waterfowl, and venison. The rest remains a matter of speculation among food historians. Although stuffings are not mentioned in primary sources, it was a common way to prepare birds for the table in the 17th century. According to a “Thanksgiving Primer” published by the Plimoth Plantation, cranberries may have been used in the stuffing recipes, but it’s unlikely they would have been made into a sauce because sugar was very scarce.

Cranberry sauce was first offered to consumers in North America in 1912 in Hanson, Massachusetts. Canned cranberry sauce appeared on the market in 1941, allowing the product to be sold year-round. Cranberry sauce can be used with a variety of meats, including turkey, pork, chicken, and ham.

Cranberry jelly from a can, sliced

The most basic cranberry sauce consists of cranberries boiled in sugar water until the berries pop and the mixture thickens. Some recipes include other ingredients such as slivered almonds, orange juice, zest, ginger, maple syrup, port, or cinnamon.

Commercial cranberry sauce may be loose and uncondensed, or condensed or jellied and sweetened with various ingredients. The jellied form may be slipped out of a can onto a dish, and served sliced or intact for slicing at the table.

Cranberry sauce is often eaten in conjunction with turkey for Christmas in the United Kingdom and Canada or Thanksgiving in the United States and Canada, and it is only rarely eaten or served in other contexts there.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Pimento Cheese

November 16, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Pimento cheese on crackers

In the cuisine of the Southern United States, pimento cheese is a spread or relish made with cheese, mayonnaise and pimentos. Elsewhere, different ingredients may be used. It is served on bread, crackers and vegetables, or in sandwiches.

Pimento cheese has been referred to as the “pâté of the south”, “Carolina caviar” and “the caviar of the South.”

The basic recipe has few ingredients: sharp cheddar cheese or processed cheese (such as Velveeta or American cheese), mayonnaise or salad dressing, and pimentos, blended to either a smooth or chunky paste. Regional ingredients include horseradish, cream cheese, salt and pepper, Louisiana-style hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, paprika, jalapeños, onions, garlic, and dill pickles.

Close-up view of a commercial pimento cheese

Pimento cheese can be served as a spread on crackers or celery, scooped onto corn chips or tortilla chips, mixed in with mashed yolks for deviled eggs, added to grits, or slathered over hamburgers or hotdogs.

A pimento cheese sandwich can be a quick and inexpensive lunch, or it can be served as a cocktail finger food (with crusts trimmed, garnished with watercress, and cut into triangles) or rolled up and cut into pinwheels. It is also a common snack in the Philippines, where it is referred to as cheese pimiento.

Pimento cheese sandwiches are a popular item at the Masters Tournament. Minor controversy ensued in 2013 when the Augusta National Golf Club switched food suppliers for the Masters and the new supplier was unable to duplicate the recipe used by the previous supplier, resulting in a sandwich with a markedly different taste.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Pork Roll

November 9, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Two slices of pork roll

Pork roll (also known regionally as Taylor ham) is a pork-based processed meat commonly available in New Jersey, New York, Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland. It was developed in 1856 by John Taylor of Hamilton Square, New Jersey, and sold as “Taylor’s Prepared Ham”. Other producers entered the market, and subsequent food labeling regulations required Taylor to designate it as a “pork roll” alongside its competitors. While “Taylor” is technically a brand of pork roll, in regions of North and Central Jersey, all brands of pork roll may be referred to colloquially as “Taylor Ham” due to John Taylor branding his original pork roll as Taylor’s Prepared Ham.

 

While a similar item, packed minced ham, may have been produced at the time of the Battle of Trenton, John Taylor is credited with creating his secret recipe for the product in 1856. George Washington Case, a farmer and butcher from nearby Belle Mead, New Jersey, later created his own recipe for pork roll in 1870. Case’s was reportedly packaged in corn husks.

A “Jersey Breakfast” of pork roll, egg, and cheese

Taylor originally called his product “Taylor’s Prepared Ham”, but was forced to change the name after it failed to meet the new legal definition of “ham” established by the Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906. Marketed as both “Taylor’s Pork Roll” and “Trenton Pork Roll”, it saw competition from products with similar names like “Rolled Pork” and “Trenton style Pork Roll”. When their makers were sued by Taylor, a 1910 legal case ruled that the words “Pork Roll” could not be trademarked.

In North Jersey, residents continue to use the term “Taylor ham”, while South Jersey residents generally use the term “pork roll”, with Central Jersey residents using a mix of the two.

In the 1910 lawsuit, it was described as “a food article made of pork, packed in a cylindrical cotton sack or bag in such form that it could be quickly prepared for cooking by slicing without removal from the bag.” Larry Olmsted of USA Today has described the taste of the meat as “a cross between Canadian bacon and bacon, less hammy and smoky than Canadian, fattier and saltier than bacon, with a unique texture, both crispy and slightly mushy.”

Companies that make pork roll include Taylor (under the Taylor and Trenton brands), Case’s Pork Roll, Loeffler’s Gourmet, Hatfield Quality Meats and Alderfer Premium of Harleysville, Pennsylvania.

 

It is typically eaten as part of a sandwich, with popular condiments including pepper, ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, lettuce, butter and tomato. It is also incorporated in many other recipes, including a popular breakfast sandwich known in the region as a “Taylor ham, egg and cheese” or “pork roll, egg and cheese”. in which fried pork roll is joined with a fried egg and American cheese and served on a hard roll, bagel or English muffin. New Jersey eateries noted for their Jersey Breakfast include Slater’s in Middletown, and Starks United in Keansburg.

 

Trenton, New Jersey held its Inaugural Pork Roll Festival on May 24, 2014.

A sandwich featuring pork roll at a delicatessen in New Jersey

The Trenton Thunder minor league baseball team hosted their inaugural “Trenton Thunder World Famous Case’s Pork Roll Eating Championship” on September 26, 2015. Joey Chestnut won the contest by eating 32 pork roll sandwiches in 10 minutes.

The Lakewood BlueClaws minor league baseball team holds a Pork Roll, Egg, and Cheese Race at the end of the fourth inning of every home game.

A song called “Pork Roll Egg and Cheese” appears on the album The Pod by Ween, locals of New Hope, Pennsylvania, referring specifically to a sandwich consisting of pork roll, egg and cheese on a kaiser roll. Several other songs by the band such as “Frank” also contain references to pork roll.

On April 14, 2016, Assemblyman Tim Eustace introduced an Act in the New Jersey State Legislature designating the Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich as the New Jersey State Sandwich and supplementing chapter 9A of Title 52 of the Revised Statutes. “An Act designating the Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich as the New Jersey State Sandwich and supplementing chapter 9A of Title 52 of the Revised Statutes.”

On May 15, 2016, President Barack Obama gave a commencement speech at Rutgers University’s 250th graduation ceremony in which he referenced the “Taylor Ham vs. pork roll debate”, saying, “I come here for a simple reason – to finally settle this pork roll vs. Taylor Ham question…I’m just kidding…There’s not much I’m afraid to take on in my final year of office, but I know better than to get in the middle of that debate.”

On October 28, 2020, Montana gubernatorial candidate Mike Cooney released a video of former New Jersey governor Chris Christie on the app Cameo requesting Cooney’s opponent return to New Jersey. Christie, who had been tricked into recording the video by a Cooney aide, invoked pork rolls.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Custard Pie

November 2, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | 2 Comments
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Custard pie – A coconut cream pie

A custard pie is any type of uncooked custard mixture added to an uncooked or partially cooked crust and baked together. In North America, custard pie commonly refers to a plain mixture of milk, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and sometimes nutmeg combined with a pie crust. It is distinctly different from a cream pie, which contains cooked custard poured into a cooled, precooked crust. In the United Kingdom, the comical or political act of pieing is conventionally done with a “custard pie”. Some common custard pies include pumpkin pie, lemon and buttermilk chess pie, coconut cream pie, and buko pie. True custard is defined as a liquid thickened with eggs. Due to the often large number of whole eggs in custard pie it is a very rich pie.

The Ancient Romans were the first to understand the binding properties of eggs. During the Middle Ages, the first custard pies, as we know them, began to appear. Initially, custards were used only as fillings for pies, pastries and tarts. Both Europe and Asia had recipes that contained custards. The word custard is derived from ‘crustade’ which is a tart with a crust. After the 16th century, custards began to be used in individual dishes rather than as a filling in crusts.

Today, custards are used as filling in pies and tarts, and as individual dishes. Ideally a custard pie should be light and delicate, but still have good body. Custards can be made in two ways: baked or stirred upon the stove, but most custard pie recipes call for baking. The eggs in custard mixtures, when cooked, turn from liquid to solid. If cooked over excessive heat, the eggs will curdle, which is extremely undesirable. Curdling can be prevented by using lower temperatures and stirring. As such, making true custard pie is a very delicate process.

A slice of pear custard pie

Savory pies with meat fillings were far more common than sweet pies in the Cuisine of the Thirteen Colonies. Sweet pies, when they were available, were made with a simple custard base of fresh milk, sugar and eggs. Some of these traditional pies like buttermilk pie, almond custard, Irish potato pie and bean pie (associated with the Nation of Islam) are uncommon in modern times.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Scrambled Eggs

October 26, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Scrambled eggs with grated cheese.

Scrambled eggs is a dish made from whites and yolks of eggs (usually chicken eggs) stirred or beaten together, typically with salt and butter and variable other ingredients, and then gently heated in a pan while being stirred.

Only eggs are necessary to make scrambled eggs, but nearly always salt is used, and very often other ingredients such as water, milk, butter, cream or in some cases creme fraiche or grated cheese may be added. The eggs are cracked into a bowl; with some salt, and the mixture is stirred or whisked. More consistent and far quicker results are obtained if a small amount of thickener such as cornstarch, potato starch or flour is added; this enables much quicker cooking with reduced risk of overcooking, even when less butter is used.

The mixture can be poured into a hot pan containing melted butter or oil, where it starts coagulating. The heat is turned down and the eggs are stirred as they cook. This creates small, soft curds of egg. Unlike pancake or omelette scrambled egg is virtually never browned.

Once the liquid has mostly set, additional ingredients such as ham, herbs, cheese or cream may be folded in over low heat, just until incorporated. The eggs are usually slightly undercooked when removed from heat, since the eggs will continue to set. If any liquid is seeping from the eggs (syneresis), this is a sign of undercooking, overcooking or adding undercooked high-moisture vegetables.

Scrambled eggs with bacon and pancakes

Variations
* English style. In English style the scrambled eggs are stirred very thoroughly during cooking to give a soft, fine texture
* American style – In American style the eggs are scooped in towards the middle of the pan as they set, giving larger curds.
* Scrambled eggs can be made easily sous-vide, which gives the traditional smooth creamy texture and requires only occasionally mixing during cooking.
* Another technique for cooking creamy scrambled eggs is to pipe steam into eggs with butter via a steam wand (as found on an espresso machine).
* Scrambled eggs can also be cooked in a Microwave oven.

 

Classical haute cuisine preparation calls for serving scrambled eggs in a deep silver dish. They can also be presented in small croustades made from hollowed-out brioche or tartlets. When eaten for breakfast, scrambled eggs often accompany toast, bacon, smoked salmon, hash browns, cob, pancakes, ham or sausages. Popular condiments served with scrambled eggs include ketchup, hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Apple Strudel

October 19, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Apple strudel

Apple strudel (German: Apfelstrudel; Czech: štrúdl) is a traditional Viennese strudel, a popular pastry in Austria, Bavaria, Northern Italy and in many other countries in Europe that once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867–1918).

The oldest known strudel recipe is from 1697, a handwritten recipe housed at the Wienbibliothek im Rathaus.

Whether as a type of sweet or savory layered pastry with a filling inside, the strudel gained popularity in the 18th century through the Habsburg Empire (1278–1780). Austrian cuisine was formed and influenced by the cuisines of many different peoples during the many centuries of the Austrian Habsburg Empire’s expansion. Strudel is related to the Ottoman Empire’s pastry baklava, which came to Austria from Turkish via Hungarian cuisine.

Strudel is most often associated with the Austrian cuisine, but is also a traditional pastry in the whole area formerly belonging to the Austro-Hungarian empire. In these countries, apple strudel is the most widely known kind of strudel. Apple strudel is considered to be the national dish of Austria along with Wiener Schnitzel and Tafelspitz.

Home made old-fashioned apple strudel in the oven, rolled up and filled with apple filling

Apple strudel consists of an oblong strudel pastry jacket with an apple filling inside. The filling is made of grated cooking apples (usually of a tart, crisp and aromatic variety, such as Winesap apples sugar, cinnamon, and bread crumbs.

Strudel uses an unleavened dough. The basic dough consists of flour, oil (or butter) and salt although as a household recipe, many variations exist.

Apple strudel dough is a thin, elastic dough, consisting of many thin layers and known as “Blätterteig”, the traditional preparation of which is a difficult process. The dough is kneaded by flogging, often against a table top. Dough that appears thick or lumpy after flogging is generally discarded and a new batch is started. After kneading, the dough is rested, then rolled out on a wide surface, and stretched until the dough reaches a thickness similar to phyllo. Cooks say that a single layer should be so thin that one can read a newspaper through it. The dough is also stretched carefully to make it large enough to cover the kneading table.

Filling is arranged in a line on a comparatively small section of dough, after which the dough is folded over the filling, and the remaining dough is wrapped around until all the dough has been used. The strudel is then oven baked, and served warm. Apple strudel is traditionally served in slices, sprinkled with powdered sugar.

In traditional Viennese strudel the filling is spread over 3/4 of the dough and then the strudel is rolled, incorporating the dough through the filling and making a swirl pattern when the strudel is cut across. Perhaps this is the origin of the name which means whorl or whirlpool.

 

Apple strudel, served with vanilla sauce, in Tirol, Austria

Toppings of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, custard, or vanilla sauce are popular in many countries. Apple strudel can be accompanied by tea, coffee or even champagne, and is one of the most common treats at Viennese cafés.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites – Caramel Apple

October 12, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Caramel Apple

Caramel apples or toffee apples are whole apples covered in a layer of caramel. They 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. When these additional ingredients, such as nut toppings, are added, the caramel apple can be called a taffy apple.

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

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.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Macaroni and Cheese

October 5, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Macaroni and cheese

Macaroni and cheese—also called mac ‘n’ cheese in the US, macaroni cheese in the United Kingdom—is a dish of cooked macaroni pasta and a cheese sauce, most commonly cheddar. It can also incorporate other ingredients, such as breadcrumbs, meat and vegetables.

Traditional macaroni and cheese is a casserole baked in the oven; however, it may be prepared in a sauce pan on top of the stove or using a packaged mix. The cheese is often first incorporated into a Béchamel sauce to create a Mornay sauce, which is then added to the pasta. In the United States, it is considered a comfort food.

US History of Mac and Cheese
The US president Thomas Jefferson and James Hemings, his chef and slave, encountered macaroni in Paris and brought the recipe back to Monticello. Jefferson drew a sketch of the pasta and wrote detailed notes on the extrusion process. In 1793, he commissioned the US ambassador to France William Short to purchase a machine for making it. Evidently, the machine was not suitable, as Jefferson later imported both macaroni and Parmesan cheese for his use at Monticello. In 1802, Jefferson served “a pie called macaroni” at a state dinner. The menu of the dinner was reported by Reverend Manasseh Cutler, who apparently was not fond of the cheesy macaroni casserole. Nevertheless, since that time, baked macaroni and cheese has remained popular in the United States.

Baked macaroni and cheese

A recipe called “macaroni and cheese” appeared in the 1824 cookbook The Virginia Housewife written by Mary Randolph. Randolph’s recipe had three ingredients: macaroni, cheese, and butter, layered together and baked in a hot oven. The cookbook was the most influential cookbook of the 19th century, according to culinary historian Karen Hess. Similar recipes for macaroni and cheese occur in the 1852 Hand-book of Useful Arts, and the 1861 Godey’s Lady’s Book. By the mid-1880s, cookbooks as far west as Kansas and Festus, Missouri, included recipes for macaroni and cheese casseroles. Factory production of the main ingredients made the dish affordable, and recipes made it accessible, but not notably popular. As it became accessible to a broader section of society, macaroni and cheese lost its upper class appeal.

Pasta other than macaroni are often used: almost any short-cut extruded pasta and many of the decorative cut pasta will do, particularly those with folds and pockets to hold the cheese. The dish may still be referred to as “macaroni and cheese” when made with a different pasta; while “shells and cheese” is sometimes used when it is made with Conchiglie.

While Cheddar cheese is most commonly used for macaroni and cheese, other cheeses may also be used — usually sharp in flavor — and two or more cheeses can be combined. Popular recipes include using Gruyere, Gouda, Havarti, and Parmesan cheese.

Macaroni and cheese can be made by simply layering slices of cheese and pasta (often with butter and/or evaporated milk) then baking in a casserole, rather than preparing as a cheese sauce. Also, some like to include a crunchy topping to their baked macaroni and cheese by topping it off with bread crumbs or crushed crackers, which also keeps the noodles on top from drying out when baking.

One novelty presentation is deep-fried macaroni and cheese found at fairs and food carts. In Scotland, macaroni and cheese can often be found incorporated into a pastry shell, known as a

Macaroni and cheese pizza

macaroni pie. Macaroni and cheese pizza can be found in some American restaurants, such as Cicis.

A similar traditional dish in Switzerland is called Älplermagronen (Alpine herder’s macaroni), which is also available in boxed versions. Älplermagronen are made of macaroni, cream, cheese, roasted onions, and in some recipes, potatoes. In the Canton of Uri, the potatoes are traditionally omitted, and in some regions, bacon or ham is added. The cheese is often Emmental cheese or Appenzeller cheese. It is usually accompanied by apple sauce.

Extra ingredients sometimes incorporated include bacon, jalapeños, tomatoes, onions, leeks, dried herbs, Tabasco sauce, sautéed mushrooms, ham, ground beef, sliced hot dogs, Spam, lobster, canned tuna or salmon, peas and broccoli.

Packaged macaroni and cheese is available in frozen form or as boxed ingredients for simplified preparation. Boston Market, Michelina’s, Kraft, and Stouffer’s are some of the more recognizable brands of prepared and frozen macaroni and cheese available in the United States. “Macaroni and cheese loaf”, a deli meat which contains both macaroni and processed cheese bits, can be found in some stores.

A variety of packaged mixes which are prepared in a sauce pan on the stove or in a microwave oven are available. They are usually modeled on Kraft Macaroni & Cheese (known as Kraft Dinner in Canada), which was introduced in 1937 with the slogan “make a meal for four in nine minutes.” It was an immediate success in the US and Canada amidst the economic hardships of the Depression. During the Second World War, rationing led to increased popularity for the product which could be obtained two boxes for one food rationing stamp. The 1953 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook includes a recipe using Velveeta, which had been reformulated in that year. The boxed Kraft product is popular in Canada, where it is the most-purchased grocery item in the country.

Boxed mixes consist of uncooked pasta and either a liquid cheese sauce (often labeled “deluxe”) or powdered ingredients to prepare it. The powdered cheese sauce is mixed with either milk or

A plate of pre-packaged Kraft macaroni and cheese, served with tomato and sausage

water, and margarine, butter, or olive oil and added to the cooked pasta. Some mixes prepared in a microwave cook the pasta in the sauce.

Another popular variant is jarred macaroni cheese sauce, which is especially popular in the UK and US, available under the Dolmio and Ragú brands, among others. The pasta is purchased and prepared separately, then mixed with the heated cheese sauce.

Powdered cheese sauce, very similar to what is found inside a box of macaroni and cheese mix, is also sold without the pasta. This product is produced by several companies, most notably Bisto, Cabot, Annie’s and Kraft.

A number of different products on the market use this basic formulation with minor variations in ingredients.

Although high in carbohydrates, calories, fat, and salt, macaroni and cheese is a source of protein and certain variations of the dish can decrease the negative health aspects.

 

 

One of America’s Favorites -Oxtail

September 28, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Raw oxtail

Oxtail (occasionally spelled ox tail or ox-tail) is the culinary name for the tail of cattle. Formerly, it referred only to the tail of a steer. An oxtail typically weighs 7 to 8 lbs. and is skinned and cut into short lengths for sale.

Oxtail is a gelatin-rich meat, which is usually slow-cooked as a stew or braised. It is a traditional stock base for oxtail soup. Traditional preparations involve slow cooking, so some modern recipes take a shortcut using a pressure cooker. Oxtail is the main ingredient of the Italian dish coda alla vaccinara (a classic of Roman cuisine). It is a popular flavor for powdered, instant and premade canned soups in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Oxtails are also one of the popular bases for Russian aspic appetizer dishes, along with pig trotters or ears or cow “knees”, but are the preferred ingredients among Russian Jews because they can be kosher.

Southern oxtail soup

Versions of oxtail soup are popular traditional dishes in South America, West Africa, China, Spain and Indonesia. In Chinese cuisine, it’s usually made into a soup called (niúwěi tāng, “oxtail soup”). In Korean cuisine, a soup made with oxtail is called kkori gomtang. It is a thick soup seasoned with salt and eaten with a bowl of rice. It can be used as a stock for making tteokguk (rice cake soup). Stewed oxtail with butter bean or as main dish (with rice) is most popular in Jamaica, and other West Indian cultures. Oxtail is also very popular in South Africa where it is often cooked in a traditional skillet called a potjie, which is a three-legged cast iron pot placed over an open fire. Oxtail is also eaten in other southern parts of Africa like Zimbabwe and served with sadza and greens. In the United States, oxtail is a mainstay in African-American households. In Cuban cuisine, a stew can be made from oxtail called rabo encendido. In the Philippines, it is prepared in a peanut based stew called Kare-kare. In Iran, Oxtail is slow-cooked and served as a substitute for shank in a main dish called Baghla-Poli-Mahicheh which is prepared with rice, shank (or oxtail) and a mixture of herbs including dill, coriander, parsley and garlic.

 

One of America’s Favorites – Steak Diane

September 21, 2020 at 6:02 AM | Posted in One of America's Favorites | Leave a comment
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Steak Diane

Steak Diane is a dish of a pan-fried beefsteak with a sauce made from the seasoned pan juices, generally prepared in restaurants tableside, and sometimes flambéed. It was probably invented in London or New York in the 1930s. From the 1940s through the 1960s, it was considered a classic of “Continental cuisine”, and has since become retro.

“Steak Diane” does not appear in the classics of French cuisine, and is first documented in 1940, in Australia. It may have been invented in Belgium, London, or New York.

The name ‘Diana’, the Roman goddess of the hunt, has been used for various game-related foods, but the “venison steak Diane” attested in 1914, although it is sautéed and flambéed, is sauced and garnished with fruits, unlike later steak Diane recipes, so it is unclear if there is a connection.

In mid-20th-century New York, there was a fad for tableside-flambéed dishes. By the 1940s, steak Diane was a common item on the menus of restaurants popular with New York café society, including the restaurants at the Drake and Sherry-Netherland hotels and The Colony, one of which may have originated it, as well as the 21 Club and Le Pavillon. It is often attributed to Beniamino Schiavon, ‘Nino of the Drake’, the maître d’hôtel of the Drake Hotel in New York City, who was said to have created the dish with Luigi Quaglino at the Plage Restaurant in Ostend, Belgium, and named it after a “beauty of the nineteen-twenties” or perhaps “a reigning lady of the European demimonde in the nineteen twenties”. At the Drake, it was called “Steak Nino”.

The earliest attestation, however, is not in New York, but in Australia. Tony Clerici, maître d’hôtel at the Sydney restaurant Romano’s, said he invented it at his Mayfair restaurant Tony’s Grill in 1938 and named it in honor of Lady Diana Cooper. It was Romano’s signature dish, and was mentioned in a 1940 article about the restaurant.

Clerici may have learned the dish from Charles Gallo-Selva, who had previously worked at the Quaglino brothers’ restaurant Quaglino’s in London, which was serving steak cooked tableside in a chafing-dish in 1937. Indeed the head chef of Quaglino’s in the 1930s, Bartolomeo Calderoni, claimed in 1988 to have invented Steak Diane.

Other stories mention the Café de Paris in 1930’s London and the Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro.

Steak Diane is similar to steak au poivre. The steak is cut or pounded thin so that it will cook rapidly. It is seasoned with salt and pepper, quickly sautéed in butter, and set aside. A sauce is prepared from the pan juices with various flavorings. The three New York city recipes from 1953 use few ingredients besides salt, pepper, and butter: brandy, sherry, chives (Sherry-Netherland); chives, dry mustard, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce (Drake); chives, parsley, Worcestershire sauce (Colony). Only the Sherry-Netherland recipe explicitly calls for flambéing. Other recipes may use chives, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, thinly sliced mushrooms, shallots, cream, truffles, meat stock, or commercial steak sauce. The sauce is flambéed with brandy, dry sherry, or Madeira, and poured over the steak.

 

 

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