I recently decided to try and make homemade ice cream. I also decided to buy an ice cream making-appliance. I didn’t want an elaborate machine or one that was too large. America’s Test Kitchen recommended the Cuisinart Ice-21, so I went with that recommendation. Turns out the appliance was very easy to use and made the ice cream exactly as described. I also watched a YouTube video prior to making the ice cream just to be sure of what I was doing.
I followed a recipe for making a sugar free version but I found that my first batch became very hard in the freezer. I did some research and the Cuisinart manual said that homemade ice cream does become quite hard in the freezer and needs to be left on the counter for 20-30 minutes before serving. I also learned that you can add some special ingredients to help the ice cream retain its softness, such as more heavy cream than milk, guar gum powder, fiber syrup, and vodka. The second batch was very successful with the addition of the fiber syrup and guar gum.
Homemade Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Makes about 1 ½ quarts
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup powdered monk fruit sweetener or regular sugar
¼ teaspoon guar gum
¼ cup clear fiber syrup
2 cups heavy (whipping) cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Steps prior to making the recipe:
- The freezer bowl must be completely frozen before beginning the process.. Before freezing, wash and dry the bowl. The length of time needed to reach the frozen state depends on how cold the freezer is. It is recommended that the freezer bowl be placed in the back of the freezer where it is coldest. Be sure to place the freezer bowl on a flat surface in its upright position for even freezing. Generally, freezing time is 24 hours. Shake the bowl to determine whether it is completely frozen. If you do not hear the liquid within the bowl moving, the cooling liquid is sufficiently frozen. Use the bowl immediately after removing from the freezer. It will begin to quickly defrost once it has been removed from the freezer. Ingredients such as chips and nuts should be added during the last 5 minutes before the recipe is complete. Once the ice cream has begun to thicken, add the ingredients through the ingredient spout at the top
- In a mixing bowl or a large measuring cup, combine the guar gum, sugar, and salt. Pour in the milk, cream. Fiber syrup and vanilla. Using a hand mixer on low speed thoroughly combine the ingredients. Cover the bowl and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight. Overnight is best.
- Melt the butter in a medium skillet. Add the pecans. Cook over medium-low heat until the pecans are lightly toasted, stirring frequently, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from the pan from the heat to cool to room temperature. With a spatula spread the pecans on a sheet of foil and set aside.
Turn the ice cream maker on; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl through the spout at the top and let mix until thickened, about 20 minutes. Five minutes before mixing is completed, add the reserved pecans and let mix in completely. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
While many readers are experiencing spring at this time of year, here in the deep south it is summer – hot -90’s already! Here are some ideas for supper when it gets hot in your region.
Sliced Smoked Salmon
2 large slices of smoked salmon per person. Place the slices of salmon on a serving plate.
Sprinkle the salmon slices lightly with fresh lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper and chopped fresh dill.
Slice or cube a ripe cantaloupe and place in a serving bowl.
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus additional leaves for garnish
½ teaspoon black pepper
8 oz whole wheat penne pasta
½ cup finely chopped celery
½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
½ cup shredded carrot
3 scallions, finely diced
½ cup finely chopped cucumber, peeled and seeded
Cook the penne in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain.
In a large casserole dish with a cover, mix together the dressing ingredients. Add the hot pasta and mix well. Stir in the vegetables. Cover the dish and refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Just before serving, mix the salad again and garnish with parsley.
4 large eggs
2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 scallion, finely diced
1 tablespoon of finely diced celery
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Paprika, for garnish
Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with 1 1/2 inches of water above the eggs. Heat on high until the water begins to boil, then cover and turn off the heat. Let the eggs rest in the covered pan for 14 minutes, then place in a pan of ice water. under cold water
When cool carefully peel the eggs and gently dry them with paper towels. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, remove the yolks to a medium bowl, and place the whites on a serving platter. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayonnaise (only enough to bind the mixture), mustard, scallion, celery, and pepper, and mix well.
Evenly spoon heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and serve.
2 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves minced
4 ounces cream cheese cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
20 oz frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.
Add the shallot and cook for 3 minutes; add garlic and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the shallot softens.
Stir in cream cheese and cream; cook, stirring, until cream cheese is melted and smooth.
Stir in spinach; add nutmeg, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture thickens, about 4 to 5 minutes. Spread a portion of the creamed spinach on individual serving plates.
Parmesan Fish Fillets
16 ounces thin fish fillets
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk
1⁄ 3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Lemon wedges, optional
Dry the fish fillets well with paper towels.
Beat the egg and milk together in a large flat dish. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese, flour, paprika, salt, and pepper until combined.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.
Dip each fish fillet in the egg mixture, letting excess liquid drip off. Put the fish in the frying pan and cook for 3 minutes, then turn the fish over. Cook for 2 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and place a cooked fish fillet on top of the creamed spinach on each plate.
Serve with lemon wedges if using.
Fresh Tomato Salad
1-pint grape tomatoes halved
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
¼ cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1 tablespoon each of fresh basil & oregano, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Place tomatoes, red onion, olives and herbs in a salad bowl.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle with the olive oil and red wine vinegar. Toss to combine.
Let sit at room temperature for a few hours so that the tomatoes absorb the flavoring ingredients.
Two 10 oz,1 inch thick, grass-fed New York Strip Steaks
2 pats butter
Sauteed onions, recipe below
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
New York Strip Cooking Guide
1 in. thick
Rare 8-10 min.
Medium 10-12 min.
Well 12-14 min.
Combine the rub ingredients in a small dish.
Take the steaks out of the refrigerator and let them sit on a clean plate or pan for an hour before grilling. Room temperature meat will make for more even cooking.
Rub the steaks with olive oil and follow with the rub.
Preheat an outdoor grill on high for at least 15 minutes. Sear the steaks for 2 minutes for 1-inch-thick steaks. Turn steaks and sear the second side for 2 minutes. Move the steaks to a cooler medium heat to finish grilling according to your likeness. Remove the steaks to a serving platter and place a pat of butter on top. Let rest 5 minutes.
To cook on a stovetop grill: Heat a well-seasoned stovetop grill over a high setting. When hot add the steaks and sear on one side. Turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Turn the steaks with tongs and turn up the heat to high. Be careful not to cut into the steaks while turning them so that you don’t lose any of the juices. Sear the second side of the steaks, then turn the heat to medium and cook for another 3 minutes to medium-rare. Add 2 to 3 minutes per side for more well-done steaks.
Top each steak with onions and serve.
For the onions
1 large sweet onion, cut into thick slices about 1/2″ thick
2 tablespoons salted butter
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the butter, and cook until the butter melts
Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, and add in the onion slices. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the onion is golden brown, stirring frequently. Set aside until the steak is cooked.
Mixed Spring Greens Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
6 cups spring mixed greens
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup thinly sliced green bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 cup homemade croutons
Ranch Dressing, recipe below
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Toss the lettuce, carrots, bell pepper, celery, and onion together in a salad bowl. Mix in some of the dressing. Add the cheese and croutons with a little more dressing. Toss and serve immediately.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons white distilled vinegar
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons fresh chopped dill
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Transfer mixture to a mason jar for storage. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Immigrants to the United States from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are referred to as Asian Indians. The first Asian Indians or Indian Americans, as they are also known, arrived in America as early as the middle of the nineteenth century. By the end of the nineteenth century, about 2,000 Indians, most of them Sikhs (a religious minority from India’s Punjab region), settled on the west coast of the United States, having come in search of economic opportunity. The majority of Sikhs worked in agriculture and construction. Other Asian Indians came as merchants and traders; many worked in lumber mills and logging camps in the western states of Oregon, Washington, and California, where they rented bunkhouses, acquired knowledge of English and assumed Western dress. Between 1910 and 1920, as agricultural work in California began to become more abundant and better paying, many Indian immigrants turned to the fields and orchards for employment. For many of the immigrants who had come from villages in rural India, farming was both familiar and preferable. In July 1946, Congress passed a bill allowing naturalization for Indians and approximately 6,000 Asian Indians immigrated to the United States between 1947 and 1965.
From 1965 onward, a second significant wave of Indian immigration began, spurred by a change in U.S. immigration law that lifted prior quotas and restrictions and allowed significant numbers of Asians to immigrate. Between 1965 and 1974, Indian immigration to the United States increased at a rate greater than that from almost any other country. This wave of immigrants was very different from the earliest Indian immigrants—Indians that emigrated after 1965 were overwhelmingly urban, professional, and highly educated and quickly engaged in gainful employment in many U.S. cities. Many had prior exposure to Western society and education and their transition to the United States was a smooth one. More than 100,000 such professionals and their families entered the U.S. in the decade after 1965.
In general, the Asian Indian community has preferred to settle in the larger American cities rather than smaller towns, especially in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago. The Asian Indian community in the United States is an ethnically diverse one. One can distinguish among subgroups who trace their roots to different regions or states within India, who speak different languages, eat different foods, and follow distinct customs. Some of the most populous Indian groups within the United States are Gujaratis, Bengalis, Punjabis, Marathis, and Tamils.
The majority of Asian Indian Americans have retained diets rooted in Indian cuisine. Indian food is prepared with a variety of spices, including cumin, turmeric, chili powder, ginger, and garlic. All Asian Indians eat a variety of dals (lentils), beans, and chaval (rice) dishes. Hindus generally will not eat beef for religious reasons, while Muslims do not eat pork.
Tandoori, the clay-baked chicken or fish marinated in yogurt and spices, is a popular North Indian dish. Biryani, or flavored rice with vegetables and meats, is served on festive occasions, often accompanied by a cooling yogurt sauce called raita (rye-tah). Southern Indian dishes like masala, dosai crepes filled with spiced potatoes, and steamed rice cakes, are also popular.
Green chutneys made of mint or coriander accompany a variety of savory fritters like the triangular, stuffed samosas. Pickled vegetables and fruits like lemons or mangoes are popular accompaniments to meals. A variety of unleavened bread like naans, rotis, and parathas are also widely eaten.
Most Asian Indian American families continue to eat freshly-prepared Indian food for the main meal of the day and the evening meal often serves as the time when the family will get together to discuss their daily activities. The average Asian Indian family tends not to eat out as often as other American families because of the importance accorded to eating together at the family table.
Tandoori chicken is a popular Indian dish consisting of chicken marinated in a mixture of yogurt and spices that are traditionally cooked in high temperatures in a tandoor (clay oven) and also can be prepared on a traditional barbecue grill.
Tandoor cooked chicken actually dates back to the Mughal period. This delicacy was the main course at Indian feasts of that day. Other stories of its origins exist, such as the one about a man named Kundan Lal Gujral, who ran a restaurant called Moti Mahal in Peshawar before the partition of British India. Trying out new recipes to keep his patrons interested, Gujral tried cooking chicken in tandoors (clay ovens) used by the locals to cook naan bread. The tandoors are bell-shaped ovens, set into the earth and fired with wood or charcoal reaching temperatures of about 480 degrees. Gujral was able to cook the tender chickens in these ovens making them succulent inside and crispy outside. After the partition in 1947, Punjab was partitioned with the Eastern portion joining India and western Pakistan. Peshawar became part of Pakistan and Gujral found himself a refugee fleeing the upheaval by moving to India. He moved his restaurant to Delhi in a place called Daryaganj.
The dish gained so much fame that even the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru was so impressed by the Tandoori chicken at Moti Mahal that he made it a regular at most of his official banquets. Visiting dignitaries like the American Presidents Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, Soviet leaders Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev, the King of Nepal, and the Shah of Iran have all enjoyed this famous dish.
The chicken gets its characteristic red color from either a lot of red chilies or the addition of red food dye. You don’t need a tandoor oven to make tandoori chicken. You can cook it over a grill or in an oven with a broiler.
2 lbs skinless chicken thighs and breasts
Vegetable oil for basting
5 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder (or substitute ½ teaspoon each paprika and cayenne pepper)
½ cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
3 teaspoons minced garlic
3 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon ground fenugreek
Thin slices of red onion, tomato, cucumber, lime, and mint leaves
Use a sharp knife to make shallow cuts in the chicken. Combine the marinade ingredients in a large plastic ziplock bag. Add the chicken and toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 12 hours. I did not use red food coloring.
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high. Remove chicken from the bag using tongs and place it on the grill; discard the bag and extra marinade. Grill for about 10 minutes on each side, brushing with oil before turning. The meat should feel firm when you press it and register an internal temperature of 165 degrees F for the breasts and 180 degrees F for the thighs on an instant-read thermometer.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil (for easy clean-up) and set a rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray or grease with vegetable oil.
Arrange the chicken on the rack, leaving space between the pieces. Roast for 45 minutes, turning once midway through until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through (be sure to turn on your exhaust fan as the oven will get a little smoky). Turn on the broiler and broil the chicken about 6 inches from the heat for 3-5 minutes, until lightly charred and crisp all over.
To finish the dish
Transfer the chicken to a large platter. Arrange the garnish slices over the chicken and seal the platter with foil. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes to absorb the garnish flavors before serving.
Indian-Style Basmati Rice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, diced or shredded
1/2 large green chili, seeded and sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken stock or broth
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, chili, and ginger and stir for 3-4 minutes until the onion softens. Add rice and stir well to coat with the butter. Stir in stock, turmeric, peas, and salt. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is tender. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
This classic Italian sauce is called sugo alla puttanesca in Italian. Recipes may differ according to preferences; for instance, the Neapolitan version is prepared without anchovies, unlike the Lazio version. Spices are sometimes added. In most cases, however, the sugo is a little salty (from the capers, olives, and anchovies) and quite fragrant (from the garlic). It is usually served with spaghetti but we like it with seafood.
Seafood in an Italian Spicy Tomato Sauce
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 fish fillets,(I used sea bass) (about 1 1/2 inches thick 4 ounces each)
4 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
26 oz container finely diced Italian tomatoes (I used the Pomi brand)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
1 tablespoon capers
2 1-inch-thick slices Italian bread brushed with olive oil and grilled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
For the sauce
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet.
Add the anchovy paste and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the pepper flakes and continue to stir.
Pour in the tomatoes, oregano and basil and heat to a simmer. Add the olives and capers and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thickened.
For the fish
Season the fish and shrimp with salt and pepper. Lightly flour the fish shaking off extra flour.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet with a cover over medium-high heat. Brown the fish fillets and shrimp on both sides.
Pour a cup to 1 ½ cups of sauce over the fish in the small skillet and cover the skillet. Heat for 2-3 minutes. Save the remaining sauce for pasta.
Place a piece of grilled bread in each serving bowl. Divide the fish evenly and place it on top of the bread. Spoon the sauce over each portion and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately.
Italian Sausage, Cannellini Beans and Greens with Grilled Garlic Bread
This dish is versatile. It can be vegetarian by leaving out the sausage (or use a veggie version) and vegetable broth instead of chicken. You can simplify the process if time is short and use canned beans and broth. Just be sure to add the same seasonings. The dish will be almost as good!
Homemade Chicken Broth
1 whole chicken carcass (leftover from roasting or use chicken bones)
2 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion (about 6 oz.), cut into 1/2-inch wedges
Freshly ground black pepper
A handful of parsley and a bay leaf
Add enough cold water to submerge the chicken carcass (about 5 quarts) in a large stockpot. Add the carrots, celery, onion, 1 1/2 tablespoons. salt, and 2 teaspoons black pepper. Cover the pot, with the lid slightly ajar. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer, partially covered, for 2 hours If at any time the water level drops below the solids, add water to cover and return to a simmer.
Remove the carcass from the broth and discard. Strain the broth through a fine sieve set over another pot or a bowl large enough to hold the broth. Gently press on the solids with a large spoon to squeeze out any remaining broth. Measure out 6 cups of broth and set aside.
Use the remaining broth for other recipes or freeze in small containers for future use.
1 ½ cups dried cannellini beans
Pinch baking soda
1 large carrot or 2 medium, diced
1 large celery stick or 2 medium, diced
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
The night before serving, rinse the beans picking out any bad ones and place them in a large bowl. Cover with water, add a pinch of baking soda and let soak at least 12 hours.
The next day, drain the beans, rinse and drain well. Place the beans in a heavy stock pot with the vegetables, garlic, and Italian seasoning, cover with water about 4 cups and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender about 60-90 minutes. Add salt to taste. Measure out 3 cups of cooked beans with their cooking liquid and vegetables and set aside. Save the remaining cooked beans for other recipes.
1 lb (6 links) (3 hot and 3 sweet) Italian pork sausage
Cut the sausage into ¼ inch thick slices. Cover the bottom of a Dutch Oven with olive oil and brown the slices of sausage.
Finishing the dish
3 cups cooked escarole or swiss chard
2 cloves garlic, one chopped and one whole
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 Parmesan cheese rind
6 cups homemade chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups cooked cannellini beans
Italian bread or use the recipe below
Chop the greens into small pieces and add the greens to the Dutch Oven with the browned sausage. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir. Add the reserved beans, salt, and chicken broth. Stir gently and add the cheese rind.
Bring the ingredients in the stockpot to a low boil, reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, until all the ingredients are hot, about 20 minutes
Slice the bread (See recipe below) and grill or toast lightly. Rub the peeled garlic clove over the surface of the grilled bread and serve with the stew.
Homemade Italian Country Bread
2 teaspoons SAF (instant) yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees)
4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Place the warm water in an electric mixing bowl. Add honey. Mix until the honey is dissolved.
Add the 4 cups of flour and salt and mix. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the flour.
Using the paddle attachment on number low speed, mix the dough until a dough forms that holds together and cleans the sides of the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and continue kneading for 7-8 minutes, until the dough is soft but supple.
Shape the dough into a ball. Spray the mixer bowl with olive oil cooking spray and place the ball of dough back into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until double, about 60 minutes.
Place a sheet of parchment paper in a 9 or 10-inch pan or shallow dish. Turn the dough out onto the parchment pan or dish. Gently shape the dough into a round and cover with greased plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes or more.
At the same time put a covered Cloche pan or Dutch Oven in the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Do not grease or spray the Cloche pan or Dutch Oven.
After the dough has risen for 30 minutes and the oven temperature is at 500 degrees F, open the oven and take the lid off the cloche pan.
USE A THICK POTHOLDER BECAUSE THE LID IS VERY HOT!
Transfer the dough while on the parchment to the bottom of the hot cloche pan. Cover with the cloche lid.
Bake for 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and remove the cloche lid.
Bake 15 minutes more, or until the bread is crusty and brown. Remove the pan from the oven and place the bread on a wire cooling rack.
British American usually refers to Americans whose ancestral heritage originated in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland). In the 2017 American Community Survey 1,891,234 individuals or 0.6% of the responses self-identified as British. It is primarily a demographic or historical research category for people who have at least partial descent from the peoples of Great Britain and the modern United Kingdom. The first English settlers were males drawn from social classes with little experience of hunting, fishing, or cooking. Although much of their food did not survive the sea journeys, they brought cattle, swine, poultry, and honeybees with them and introduced wheat, barley, rye, and fruit trees to America.
When the colonists came to Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, or any of the other English colonies on the eastern seaboard of North America, their initial attempts at survival included planting crops and farming animals familiar to them from back home in England. Their manner of cooking also followed along the lines of British cookery up until the American Revolution.
The diet of New Englanders was plain, featuring cod and corned (preserved) meat. Popular dishes included succotash (a mixture of beans and corn) and baked beans prepared with salt pork and maple syrup. The English also learned from Native Americans to combine lobsters, shellfish, and vegetables in communal clambakes. They drank beer, often brewed from corn, and cider made from apples and pears. In time, rum made from West Indian sugarcane and tea from China became popular. As women joined the settlements, they were expected to take over the cooking, most of which was done over open fires.
Wheat, however, the grain used to bake bread in England, was almost impossible to grow in the eastern colonies, and imports of wheat were costly. Substitutes like cornmeal became standard for baking bread. Many of the northern colonists depended upon their ability to hunt, or upon others from whom they could purchase the game. The commonly hunted game included deer, bear, buffalo, and wild turkey. The larger muscles of the animals were roasted and served with currant sauce, while the other smaller portions went into soups, stews, sausages, pies, and pastries. Scrapple, a traditional dish of the Delaware Valley region, is still eaten today.
A number of fats and oils made from animals served to cook much of the colonial foods. Many homes had a sack made of deerskin filled with bear oil or rendered pork fat. Pork fat was used more in the southern colonies than the northern colonies as the Spanish introduced pigs earlier to the South. The colonists enjoyed butter in cooking as well, but it was rare prior to the American Revolution, as cattle were not yet plentiful.
In comparison to the northern colonies, the southern colonies were more diverse in their agricultural diet. The Piedmont uplands and the coastal lowlands made up the two main parts of the southern colonies. The diet of the uplands often included wild game, cabbage, string beans, corn, squashes, and white potatoes. Colonists ate biscuits as part of their breakfast, along with pork. The lowlands, especially in Louisiana, included a varied diet heavily influenced by the French, Spanish, Acadians, Germans, Native Americans, Africans and Caribbeans. Rice and peppers were a large part of their diet. In addition, unlike the uplands, the lowlands main source of protein came mostly from coastal seafood.
As the colonies grew so did travel and that of taverns and pubs. The availability of meat and game exemplified America’s bounty, so that venison, pigeon, turkey, duck, bear and other game were usually on the tavern’s menu, both in the country and in the city. Vegetables were not often eaten in those days. Fish was popular and breakfast usually consisted of several eggs, game birds, pancakes, and coffee or tea.
Back in the UK the tradition of fish battered and fried in oil may have come from Jewish immigrants from Spain and Portugal. Western Sephardic Jews settled in England as early as the 16th century and would have prepared fried fish in a manner similar to “pescado frito”, which is coated in flour then fried in oil. Charles Dickens mentions “fried fish warehouses” in Oliver Twist (1838), and in 1845 Alexis Soyer in his first edition of A Shilling Cookery for the People, gives a recipe for “Fried fish, Jewish fashion”, which is dipped in a batter of flour and water.
As time passed fish and chips, served in a paper wrapper became popular. The exact location of the first fish and chip shop is unclear. The earliest known shops were opened in the 1860s, in London by Joseph Malin and in Mossley, near Oldham, Lancashire, by John Lees. However, fried fish, as well as chips, had existed independently for at least fifty years, so the possibility that they had been combined at an earlier time cannot be ruled out.
Fish and chips became a stock meal among the working classes in England as a consequence of the rapid development of trawl fishing in the North Sea, and the development of railways which connected the ports to major industrial cities during the second half of the 19th century, so that fresh fish could be rapidly transported to the heavily populated areas.
Deep-fried chips (slices or pieces of potato) as a dish may have first appeared in England in about the same period. The Oxford English Dictionary notes that its earliest usage of “chips” is mentioned in Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities (1859): “Husky chips of potatoes, fried with some reluctant drops of oil”. This British favorite crossed the Atlantic before long. You can make this updated version at home for a real treat.
British Fish & Chips
For 4 servings
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup beer
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless wild Alaskan cod(because of its quality and sustainability)
Vegetable oil, for frying
Good-quality malt vinegar, for serving
2 russet potatoes, peeled
Vegetable oil, for frying
In a medium shallow bowl combine the seasoned flour ingredients and set aside.
In a large deep bowl place the batter ingredients. Using a fork mix the ingredients until a thick, smooth batter forms. Place the batter in the refrigerator to rest for between 30 minutes and an hour.
Cut the potatoes into 1-inch slices, then slice these into chips, however wide you would like them. Place the chips into a colander and rinse under cold running water.
Place the washed chips into a pan of cold water, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes.
Drain carefully in a colander and then dry with paper towels. Place the potatoes on a tray and refrigerate covered with paper towels until ready to fry.
Dry the fish fillets with paper towels. Dredge each fish fillet in the seasoned flour and shake off any excess.
Dip into the batter.
Then carefully lower each fillet into the hot oil. Fry for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until the batter is crisp and golden, turning the fillets from time to time with a large slotted spoon.
Using the slotted spoon, remove the fillets from the hot oil, drain on paper towels, and season with salt. Cover with greaseproof paper and keep hot.
Bring the oil in the same pan to 350 degrees F and cook the chips until golden and crisp about 5-6 minutes. You may have to do this in two batches depending on how wide your pan is.
Serve immediately with the fish accompanied by malt vinegar.
Savoy Cabbage Gratin
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 head savoy cabbage cored and thinly shredded
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon flour or arrowroot
1 teaspoon dried yellow mustard
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup shredded cheddar or swiss cheese
Butter a shallow baking dish (8 by 8 in.) and preheat oven to 400°F.
Place the shredded cabbage in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Mix. Pour 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the cabbage and mix well.
In a large measuring cup mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter, garlic, chopped thyme, mustard, and flour. Stir until thoroughly combined, add cream, stir and pour over the cabbage in the baking dish. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let rest about 5 minutes before serving.
Leftover cutlets are great for sandwiches.
3 boneless pork loin chops (about 5 to 6 ounces each)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
3 cups plain panko crumbs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves of garlic, grated
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chopped sage
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients for the sage butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Set aside.
Cut the pork chops in half lengthwise to make 6 cutlets.
Place each cutlet between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and gently pounding them out with the flat side of a meat mallet until they are an even 1/8-inch thick.
Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs and milk in another shallow dish. Put the panko crumbs in a third dish. Lightly dredge each piece of pork in flour, then in the egg and finally into the panko crumbs, pressing the crumbs onto the pork gently so they adhere.
Lay the breaded pork cutlets in a single layer on a plate lined with parchment and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or until ready to cook.
Heat the oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Gently lay the cutlets into the pan and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cutlets to a serving platter. Melt the sage butter in the microwave and pour over the cutlets. Serve immediately.
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
3 cups frozen peas
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onion and salt. Cook until the onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and then the peas and thyme and cook, stirring often, until the peas defrost and are heated through about 3 minutes. Season with black pepper and serve immediately.
Shrimp Tacos with Tomatillo Sauce
1/2 lb. (about 8) tomatillos, husks removed and washed well
1 large or 2 small serrano chiles, cored, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped white onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
Half an avocado mashed
1/3 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon honey
12 large raw shrimp (16-20 count), peeled, deveined and tails removed
1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
4 low carb/gluten-free/regular tortillas, heated
1 cup shredded red cabbage
For the tomatillo salsa
Dice the tomatillos. Put them in a blender, along with the chiles, onion, cilantro, salt, and garlic. Pulse until the ingredients are very finely chopped and combined (the salsa should be somewhat smooth, but still have some texture), 30 to 60 seconds. Place the salsa in a large bowl. Let sit at room temperature until serving time.
Yields about 1 cup.
For the avocado cream
Combine all the ingredients and chill in the refrigerator.
For the shrimp
Pat shrimp dry. Toss the shrimp with Cajun seasoning and a little salt in a medium bowl.
Preheat a stovetop grill over medium heat. Place the shrimp on the grill and cook until the shrimp are just cooked through about 4 minutes total. Place the cooked shrimp in a serving bowl and spoon several tablespoons of the tomatillo salsa over the shrimp. Toss.and serve the shrimp in tortillas, topped with red cabbage and avocado cream.
Serve a tomato salad on the side.