Monday, April 14, 2014

How to cook like Betty Crocker

I have recently  become fascinated with home-cooked recipes from the 1970's that were designed to make cooking easier for the woman of the house. Canned or pre-prepared products were frequently listed in recipes, allowing many meals to take no longer than 30 minutes! Compared to foodie culture today it's nearly opposite, because like myself, many home cooks desire to make everything from scratch.

This project was inspired by those cheesy, very un-gourmet style recipes. Unlike the ones I read to get here, each component is made from scratch, and vintage labels were printed then attached to modern-day jars. The filters on these photo are there to look like they came straight out of a vintage magazine. I must salut Loretta Lynn and her cookbook, You're Cookin' It Country, for her insanely quirky recipes!




~  ~  ~
How it's all made:
Roasted pimento peppers:

3 sweet red peppers
Olive oil

  Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees celsius. Place the peppers on a baking tray and roast for one hour, checking and rotating them to get an even black crisp on the skins.

Remove from the oven and immediately put them into a bowl, firmly covered with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

Remove their tops, seeds, skin and unwanted flesh. Reserve the juices. Slice them thin lengthwise, put in a jar with their juices and cover with olive oil.

Pimento cheese spread:

200g old cheddar
200g smoked gouda
200g Havarti cheese
1/2 cup dill pickle, diced
1 shallot, diced
2 scallions
1/4 cup roasted pimento peppers
1/8 cup piquillo pepper paste
1/4 cup dijon mayo
1 tsp cream of tartare
3/4 cup milk
2 tsp powdered gelatine
1/4 tsp salt

  Shred the cheese in a food processor with the grating attachment. Reserve two cups of the cheese mix. Add the rest of ingredients except the milk and gelatine to the food processor and pulse until everything is thoroughly combined. In a small sauce pan lightly heat the milk until warm. Add the gelatine and whisk to incorporate, remove from heat. Make sure you do not bring it to a boil. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the milk/gelatine mixture until everything it combined. Make sure to scrape the edges as you blend. Add the final mixture into a small round bowl lined with plastic wrap. Cover and let set in the fridge for a minimum of four hours.

Unwrap the cheese mould and leave it sitting on the plastic wrap. Brush a thin layer of mayo on it, except for the bottom. Chop up the fresh dill and mix it in with the shredded cheese you set aside. Sprinkle the cheese mould with the cheese and dill mix. Catching the pieces that fall and pressing them onto the mould. In the end it should be evenly and firmly covered.

Wrap it up with a clean sheet of plastic wrap and put it back in the bowl. Gently press down to make sure everything sticks together.

~ ~ ~
Flaked Albacore tuna:

200g albacore tuna loin
2kg cold water
150g salt + 1/2 tsp
150g sugar
olive oil 
3 pcs lemon peel
1/4 tsp citric acid

  Stir the water and salt together until the granules have dissolved. Submerge the tuna in the brine for 6 to 8 hours.

If you do not have a circulator at home then you can do what I did. Bring a small pot of water up to 45 degrees celsius using a thermometer. It's hard to maintain the temp without a circulator so if it goes above that's fine. Try to keep adjusting the heat when you see it begin to rise. Put the brined tuna and lemon peel in a large zip-loc bag. Fill it with olive oil until the tuna is completely covered. Use you mouth to suck out all of the air from the bag and quickly seal it. Keep doing this until all of the air is out of the bag. Submerge the bag in the water and cook for two hours. Immediately submerge the bag in ice cold water once its finished. 

Remove the tuna from the bag and mix it with the citric acid and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Firmly pack it into a can or jar. Once the oil you used to confit has gotten back to room temperature pour it over the tuna. Add more olive oil if it doesn't completely get covered. Store the tuna like this in a tight container and it will last awhile.

Cream of mushroom soup:

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot large, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
5 sprigs thyme, chopped
6 cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 Portobello mushroom, sliced
2 tbsp red wine vin
1/8 tsp citric acid
1 litre 35% cream
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

  In a medium sized pot on low heat, add the olive oil and sweat off the garlic, shallot, celery and half of the thyme until translucent. Deglaze with red wine vinegar and citric acid, let it cook for two minutes. Add the mushrooms, let cook for two minutes, add the butter, once its melted add the flour. When the flour has been fully incorporated add the cream. Let it cook on low heat for two hours, stirring occasionally. To finish add the rest of the thyme and season with salt and pepper.

Lady Ross mustard pickle:

3 cups cucumber, peeled and chopped
1 large cauliflower, chopped
2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup celery, diced
1 1/2 cups tart apple, chopped
1/4 cup red pepper, diced
4 cups sugar
1/4 cup mustard seed
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 quart water
1/2 cup salt
1/3 cup flour
1/2 cup dijon mustard
1 tbsp turmeric

  Dissolve the salt in warm water. Add the cucumber, onion and cauliflower in a large container with the salt water and let it soak overnight. Strain the liquid. In a medium sized pot add all of the ingredients except the flour, turmeric and dijon. As its heating make a paste with the rest of the ingredients and add it to the pot. Bring everything to a boil, stirring occasionally, then let simmer for an hour. 

Crispy Fried Onions: 
1 onion, thin sliced into rings
1/4 cup flour
Oil for frying
Salt to taste

  In a bowl, toss the onion with the flour. Heat a small pot filled exactly halfway with oil to 350 degrees celsius. Add the breaded onion in batches, remove with a slotted spoon when golden brown. Put the finished onions on a plate covered with paper towel. Once all of the onion is fried toss it in a fresh bowl with salt. 

The Casserole:

In a casserole dish, begin layering with the cubed Pumperneikl, tuna, mushroom soup, shredded cheese and mustard relish. When you're at the top sprinkle a thick layer of cheese and bake at 400 degrees celsius for 30 minutes. Finish it off with the crispy onions and a bundle of picked dill. 
~ ~ ~
Horchata Jelly:

3/4 cup white long grain rice 
1 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup cream
3 tsp powdered gelatine

  Soak the rice in water for an hour. Before you make the jelly, slice an avocado evenly into however many slices that your mould requires (based on how many ridges are in the top of it). Leave the skin on as you slice to avoid oxidization. Very carefully press the slices, skin side down, into the ridges of the mould, taking the skin off as you go. The flesh should squish a bit into the mould, in order for it to stick in place. Once all the slices are stuck, put the mould in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Blend the rice and water thoroughly in a food processor or magic bullet. Use a fine strainer to remove the pulp from the rice and discard it. Lightly heat up the rice milk with the rest of the ingredients, except for the gelatine. Use a whisk to help dissolve the granules. Once everything is dissolved, remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the gelatine. Use a big spoon to ladle it into the jello mould so it doesn't splash or disrupt the avocado. Let it set in the fridge for 30 minutes. Since the mould is already frozen it will immediately begin to set on the outside. 

Cucumber lime jelly:

1 3/4 cup cucumber juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tbsp cilantro juice
3 tsp powdered gelatine
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 large cucumber, peeled and large diced
1/2 lime peeled and sliced into thin wheels, then halved

  Juice the cucumber, cilantro and lime in a juicer if you have one. If you don't, you can blend it all in a food processor then strain the juice from the pulp. 

Add the cucumber and lime chunks on top of the set horchata jelly. In a small pot lightly heat up the juices and sugar. Once dissolved, stir in the gelatine. Ladle it into the mould. Let it set overnight, or until you're ready to use it. 

Vanilla whipped cream:

2 cups 35% cream
2 tbsp confection sugar
1/8 tbsp vanilla powder

  Add the cream into the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Add the sugar and vanilla then whip on high speed for 2 minutes, or until it becomes thick and stiff. Load into a piping bag with a spiral nozzle. 

Maraschino cherries:

1 cup frozen cherries and their juice
1 cup cherry liqueur
1 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick

  Once the cherries have thawed, bring them to a boil with the rest of the ingredients. Reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, remove the cinnamon stick, then store in a glass jar in the fridge.

No comments:

Post a Comment