Featured Food And Drink

Recipes for Old School Cooking

Remember the fabulous ’50s? From traditional Sunday dinners with the whole family gathered around the table to Saturday night bridge games with friends and finger food, “made from scratch” was always on the menu. Here are the extra recipes we promised that go along with those found in the October/November issue.

Broccoli Polonaise

Many grandmothers served vegetables polonaise-style, which means topped with a mixture of butter, bread crumbs, parsley, and hard-cooked egg. You also can serve this topping over steamed asparagus or cauliflower.

1  pound fresh broccoli spears or 1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli spears
1  tablespoon butter or margarine
1⁄3   cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
2   tablespoons minced parsley
1⁄2   teaspoon grated lemon rind
1⁄8   teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1  hard-cooked large egg, finely chopped

1. In a large saucepan, bring 1⁄2 inch of water to a boil over high heat. Add the fresh broccoli. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. (Or, cook the frozen broccoli according to package directions.) Drain and arrange the broccoli on a platter.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the butter over moderate heat until lightly browned. Stir in the bread crumbs, parsley, lemon rind, ground red pepper, and hard-cooked egg. Spoon over the cooked broccoli.

Makes 4 servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cooking Time: 13 minutes

1 Serving: Calories 110. Total Fat 5 g. Saturated Fat 2 g.
Protein 6 g. Carbohydrate 12 g. Fiber 4 g.
Sodium 147 mg. Cholesterol 61 mg.

Ladies’ Luncheon Cream Cheese-Date Sandwiches

Old-time cookbooks often did not give specific recipes for sandwich fillings. They just listed ingredients and expected cooks to know how to put them together. One favorite combination was cream cheese mixed with dates or raisins and nuts.

4   ounces Neufchâtel cream cheese, at room temperature
1⁄2   cup chopped pitted dates
1⁄4   cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1⁄4    cup chopped pecans, toasted
8     thin slices cinnamon-raisin or raisin bread

1. In a small bowl, stir together the Neufchâtel cream cheese, dates, and mayonnaise until well mixed. Stir in the pecans.

2. Trim the crusts from the bread. Using small cookie cutters (or hors d’oeuvre cutters), cut bread into desired shapes.

3. Spread the Neufchâtel cheese mixture on half of the bread shapes. Top with the matching remaining bread shapes and decorate with cream cheese, raspberries, fresh mint, or other toppings as desired.

Makes about 16 sandwiches.
Prep Time: 20 minutes

1 Sandwich: Calories 89. Total Fat 4 g. Saturated Fat 1 g.
Protein 2 g. Carbohydrate 12 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 97 mg. Cholesterol 6 mg.

Ladies’ Luncheon Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Prepare as for Ladies’ Luncheon Cream Cheese-Date Sandwiches, substituting 1⁄2 cup reduced-fat peanut butter for the Neufchâtel cheese.

1 Sandwich: Calories 119. Total Fat 6 g. Saturated Fat 1 g.
Protein 3 g. Carbohydrate 15 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 103 mg. Cholesterol 1 mg.

Giblet Gravy

Rinse the turkey neck and giblets. Refrigerate the liver. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining giblets, neck, and 4 cups water. Add 1 medium-size yellow onion, cut into wedges; 1 large carrot, cut into chunks; 2 sprigs parsley; 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; and 1⁄4 teaspoon white or black pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Add liver. Continue cooking for 20 minutes more or until tender. Strain broth, reserving 11⁄3 cups. Reserve giblets and neck; discard vegetables. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from neck; discard neck bones. Finely chop the neck meat and giblets; set aside.

In a Dutch oven, whisk together reserved pan drippings, 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated skimmed milk, 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon white or black pepper. Cook over moderate heat until bubbly. Add the reserved broth. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken. Cook and whisk for 2 minutes more or until thickened. Stir in neck meat and giblets; heat through.

Makes 3 cups.

1⁄4 Cup: Calories 77. Total Fat 2 g. Saturated Fat 1 g.
Protein 7 g. Carbohydrate 6 g. Fiber 0 g.
Sodium 147 mg. Cholesterol 102 mg.

Plum Conserves

What’s a conserve? It’s a jam made with two or three different fruits plus raisins and nuts.

3   cups sugar
2   pounds plums
1   orange
1   cup golden raisins
1   package (13⁄4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
3    tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1⁄2   teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄2   teaspoon butter or margarine
1⁄2   cup coarsely chopped pecans

1. Prepare 6 half-pint jars and lids (tip, above). Measure sugar into a bowl; set aside. Finely chop plums, orange (with peel), and raisins; transfer to a 6- to 8-quart kettle or Dutch oven. Stir in the pectin, ginger, coriander, and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in the sugar. Return to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the pecans. Remove from heat. Skim off foam.

2. Immediately ladle into jars, filling to within 1⁄8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Quickly cover with lids; screw firmly. To seal, invert jars for 5 minutes, then turn upright. To set conserves, let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Check the seal on each jar (tip, left). Store in cool, dark place (will keep for 1 year).

Makes 6 half-pints.
Prep Time: 25 minutes  Cooking Time: 7 minutes
Standing Time: 24 hours

1 Tablespoon: Calories 42. Total Fat 1 g. Saturated Fat 0 g.
Protein 0 g. Carbohydrate 10 g. Fiber 0 g.
Sodium 1 mg. Cholesterol 0 mg.

Blue-Ribbon Grape Jelly

Farm wives relied on the natural pectin in grapes to set jelly. Today, commercial pectin gives the set.

41⁄2   cups sugar
3  cups unsweetened grape juice
1  cup cranberry juice cocktail
3   tablespoons lemon juice
2   teaspoons grated lemon rind
1   package (13⁄4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
1⁄2  teaspoon butter or margarine

1. Prepare 6 half-pint jars and lids (tip, above left). Measure the sugar into a bowl; set aside. In a 6- to 8-quart kettle or Dutch oven, combine grape juice, cranberry juice, lemon juice, and lemon rind.

2. Stir in pectin and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Quickly stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam.

3. Immediately ladle into the prepared jars, filling to within 1⁄8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Quickly cover with the lids; screw firmly. To seal, invert the jars for 5 minutes, then turn upright. To set the jelly, let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Check the seal on each jar (tip, above left). Store in a cool, dark place (will keep for 1 year).

Makes 6 half-pints.
Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cooking Time: 7 minutes
Standing Time: 24 hours

1 Tablespoon: Calories 45. Total Fat 0 g. Saturated Fat 0 g.
Protein 0 g. Carbohydrate 11 g. Fiber 0 g.
Sodium 1 mg. Cholesterol 0 mg.

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