Monday, December 15, 2008

250 Delicious Soup Recipes

Monday was the last day of school and when I got home I was so tired and cold, that I needed a remedy. Even though the supermercado is only two blocks away, I just couldn't face the walk. So I turned to 250 Delicious Soup Recipes (1950) to help me out. On the train home I had been mentally running through the contents of the refrigerator and remembered that I still had all that half and half and also some mushrooms. Cream of Mushroom soup has always been a favorite of mine, but I have never made it from scratch. In one of the old Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple movies she gives a recipe for mushroom soup. Something like: mushrooms, stock, flour, cream, bit of salt. At the time I remember thinking, Is that all there is to it?

In 250 Delicious Soup Recipes, they give two different versions. The regular kind and "Chef's Cream of Mushroom Soup." Of course I picked the chef's version. I followed the recipe pretty faithfully except that I used half and half. I was fresh out of veal stock so used chicken. The only thing I would do differently next time is to start with a roux and then add the mushrooms. The mushrooms released so much liquid that it made browning the flour difficult.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

250 Ways to Make Candy

Serena and I had a happy cooking morning, listening to NPR and making candy. From 250 Ways to Make Candy (1950) I selected "Inexpensive Milk Caramels." I made it mostly with half and half because both Serena and I came home with half and half and now we have like a gallon of it. We finished the caramels with gray sea salt, a suggestion made by Serena not 250 Ways to Make Candy.

Unlike some of the other Culinary Arts Institute recipes I have tried, this one ROCKED! It was great, though difficult to cut. I'm a really big caramel fan and occasionally splurge on the artisinal caramels from Whole Foods. I can't remember their name, but they are made here in Chicago and come in a small white box. Mine don't rival their creamy, gentle goodness, but mine turned out well anyway. Candy making is fun although I'm not quite as excited when it comes to eating it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Meat Muffins

The "Meat Muffins" were a complete success! The recipe was easy and I followed it exactly. There was, however, a bit of hesitation at the glaze. It called for half a cup of ketchup mixed with half a cup of brown sugar to be brushed on top about mid-way through baking. In the refrigerator I have some Sweet Baby Ray's Hot 'n Spicy Barbecue Sauce, which is my absolute favorite. It would have been simple to just brush the top of those meaty little muffins with that, but I really wanted to give the recipe a go. I'm glad I did because the glaze became quite smokey and nice as the muffins cooked and the brown sugar did its magic. I used only a quarter cup of each of the brown sugar and ketchup and I'm glad I did because I had more than plenty. I would be interested in knowing what ketchup was like in the early 40s, if it was made with corn syrup or sugar. It seems to me that this glaze would be just as good or better if made with tomato paste.

The picture on the right does not accompany any particular recipe, but is a serving suggestion from 250 Ways to Prepare Meat (1969). It reads, "Sausage, ground pork, lamb or beef can be shaped many interesting ways." Why yes, yes they can.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

This evening I will be making "Meat Muffins" which can be found on page 36 of The Ground Meat Cookbook (see previous post). There are no specific serving suggestions, though earlier in 250 Ways of Serving Potatoes (1941) I saw a mention of "French Potato Balls" but there was no recipe. There was a picture which mentioned using a melon baller, which sounds like a great idea to me. Since they will be so little, I'm just going to cook them in a pan.

Here are two versions 250 Ways of Serving Potatoes (1941). The only difference is the cover. Both are dated 1941, but it is obvious that the blue one is the older of the two. Also, it is numbered 13 while the color photo cover is 113. Curious.

Friday, December 5, 2008

204 Intriguiging Ground Meat Recipes

Yesterday through Coudal Partners Serena found this great site where someone has posted the full text of The Ground Meat Cookbook (1954). I haven't seen this book before so you know how excited I was to read it. The resolution is pretty good, so it is possible to work from it. As you can see by the cover, it's a stunner.

The books I have are all from the 1940s or the 1970s, but this is from the 1950s series. Although I've seen the covers, I've never looked inside. The contents are spectacular and there are some differences between this and the ones I own. First, there is playful use of illustration and color. For example, the charming illustration of lambs in swimsuits at the beach atop the recipe for "Frosted Lamb Loaf." At first I thought they were poodles, but why would there be poodles at the beach? Another of the illustrations depicts a tarted up row of dancing pearl onions adorning the recipe for "Liver Dumplings."

The thing that is noticeably missing is the name of Ruth Berolzheimer. This seems odd to me because the two series I have 40s and 70s both have her name on it. So I am wondering if when the original series of the 40s was re-worked, they simply kept her name since it was she who compiled the recipes in the first place. Up until now, I thought that her tenure at Culinary Arts Institute was un-interrupted throughout that period.

Please try a recipe or two and let me know how it turns out.