Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Skillet Fried Potatoes

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


When the European diet expanded to include potatoes, not only were farmers able to produce much more food, they also gained protection against the catastrophe of a grain crop failure and periodic population checks caused by famine. Highly nutritious potatoes also helped mitigate the effects of such diseases as scurvy, tuberculosis, measles and dysentery. The higher birth rates and lower mortality rates potatoes encouraged led to a tremendous population explosion wherever the potato traveled, particularly in Europe, the US and the British Empire.

Historians debate whether the potato was primarily a cause or an effect of the huge population boom in industrial-era England and Wales. Prior to 1800, the English diet had consisted primarily of meat, supplemented by bread, butter and cheese. Few vegetables were consumed, most vegetables being regarded as nutritionally worthless and potentially harmful. This view began to change gradually in the late 1700s. At the same time as the populations of London, 

Liverpool and Manchester were rapidly increasing, the potato was enjoying unprecedented popularity among farmers and urban workers. The Industrial Revolution was drawing an ever increasing percentage of the populace into crowded cities, where only the richest could afford homes with ovens or coal storage rooms, and people were working 12-16 hour days which left them with little time or energy to prepare food. High yielding, easily prepared potato crops were the obvious solution to England's food problems. Not insignificantly, the English were also rapidly acquiring a taste for potatoes, as is evidenced by the tuber's increasing popularity in recipe books from the time. Hot potato vendors and merchants selling fish and chips wrapped in paper horns became ubiquitous features of city life. Between 1801 and 1851, England and Wales experienced an unprecedented population explosion, their combined population doubling to almost 18 million.

Before the widespread adoption of the potato, France managed to produce just enough grain to feed itself each year, provided nothing went wrong, but something usually did. The precariousness of the food supply discouraged French farmers from experimenting with new crops or new farming techniques, as they couldn't afford any failures. On top of hundreds of local famines, there were at least 40 outbreaks of serious, nationwide famine between 1500 and 1800. The benefits of the potato, which yielded more food per acre than wheat and allowed farmers to cultivate a greater variety of crops for greater insurance against crop failure, were obvious wherever it was adopted. The potato insinuated itself into the French diet in the form of soups, boiled potatoes and pommes-frites. The fairly sudden shift towards potato cultivation in the early years of the French Revolution allowed a nation that had traditionally hovered on the brink of starvation in times of stability and peace to expand its population during a decades-long period of constant political upheaval and warfare. The uncertainly of food supply during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, combined with the tendency of above-ground crops to be destroyed by soldiers, encouraged France's allies and enemies to embrace the tuber as well; by the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815, the potato had become a staple food in the diets of most Europeans.

The most dramatic example of the potato's potential to alter population patterns occurred in Ireland, where the potato had become a staple by 1800. The Irish population doubled to eight million between 1780 and 1841 — this, without any significant expansion of industry or reform of agricultural techniques beyond the widespread cultivation of the potato. Though Irish landholding practices were primitive in comparison with those of England, the potato's high yields allowed even the poorest farmers to produce more healthy food than they needed with scarcely any investment or hard labor. Even children could easily plant, harvest and cook potatoes, which of course required no threshing, curing or grinding. The abundance provided by potatoes greatly decreased infant mortality and encouraged early marriage. Accounts of Irish society recorded by contemporary visitors paint the picture of a people as remarkable for their health as for their lack of sophistication at the dinner table, where potatoes typically supplied appetizer, dinner and dessert.
By http://www.history-magazine.com/potato.html

Skillet Fried Potatoes
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
salt & pepper, to taste
vegetable oil, enough to cover bottom of pan

Directions:
Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Peel and cube potatoes. Add potatoes to skillet, sprinkle salt and pepper. Cover. Cook about 10 minutes. Remove lid. Turn the potatoes. Cook until tender. Enjoy!









Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Eating breakfast began in the Neolithic (late Stone Age) era, when large stones were used to grind grains to make a sort of porridge. Porridge was also a staple of Roman Solders’ diets – they called it pulmentus.

During the middle ages, barley and hops were used to make beer which was served up in the morning to hungry peasants alongside oatcakes or porridge.

Breakfast as we know it began in the early 19th century, when some middle-class men started to work regular hours in offices – prior to that people would often work for a few hours, then eat a meal at about 10am. Wives or kitchen staff would often serve these 19th century commuters a two-course meal that would often begin with a bowl of porridge. This would be followed by a full English breakfast: toast and eggs with bacon or fish. This style of meal wasn’t referred to as the ‘full English’ until the First World War when lighter breakfasts grew in popularity.

Eating breakfast had become a more elaborate act by the 19th century, at least in well-off households. In the 1861 Book of Household Management, Isabella Beeton suggested a daily breakfast buffet that included a cold joint of meat, game pies, broiled mackerel, sausages, bacon and eggs, muffins, toast, marmalade, butter, jam, coffee and tea.

Towards the end of the 1800s, there was a backlash against these kinds of lavish diets. Groups like the 7th Day Adventists protested that meat-based breakfasts were leading to ill health! Over the next few decades, pioneers like John Kellogg, W.K. Kellogg, Henry Perky and C.W. Post developed ready to eat breakfast cereals that would go on to become extremely popular and varied. At the turn of the 20th century, other cereals, such as muesli were being invented in Europe. Breakfast cereals found success when rationing made bacon and eggs scarce during the war. Also, as women entered the workforce, they no longer had the time to cook a full meal in the morning and cereals allowed children to prepare their own breakfast.

The range of breakfast foods on offer became more and more varied. Now, however, despite the choice available, fewer and fewer people take the time to have breakfast.
  • Around 7000 B.C. - The first cereals (wheat and barley) are cultivated in the Middle East.
  • Around 100 A.D. - Roman soldiers add porridge to their diets.
  • 1463 - First use of the word ‘breakfast’ in English.
  • 1500s - First shipments of coffee to Venice.
  • 1892 - Henry Perky invents Shredded Wheat.
  • 1894 - John Harvey Kellogg and W.K. Kellogg invent the Corn Flake
By www.breakfastpanel.org/history-of-breakfast

Cheesy Scrambled Eggs
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
6 eggs
salt, to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
6 teaspoons water
1/4 cup of cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter

Directions:
Add cracked egg to a bowl, add water, salt and pepper. Beat eggs until smooth. In a large skillet, melt butter over low heat. Pour eggs into preheated skillet. Add cheese. Gentle stir. Remove from heat when there is no more liquid on bottom of skillet. Enjoy!






Friday, May 27, 2011

Memorial Day Picnic

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

 
Do you have plans for Memorial Day? I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Remember, the folks sitting at the table that make the meal memorable, not the food. Smile. Please don't forget why we celebrate this holiday. Give thanks to the folks who serve our country, and please remember the folks who gave their lives for this country. Below you will find picnic checklist, recipes and I will talk about the award I just received.

Picnic Checklist:
Sunscreen for everyone
Camera
Paper plates
Plastic flatware
Serving utensils... 2 to 4
Paper or plastic cups
Paper towels and moist wipes
Cooler for cold drinks
Condiments
Salt and Pepper
Potato Chips to go with sandwiches and burgers
Containers or plastic bags for leftovers
Trash bag

Recipes for Memorial Day Picnic:

Award... I am VERY excited and honored to be awarded. I would like to thank http://hungryharps.blogspot.com for this honor. Please take a moment and visit hungry harps blog. Wonderful blog. Thank you so much!

Everyone, have a safe and wonderful weekend! Enjoy!











 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ham And Cheese Sandwich

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

There have been many stories over the years about just how the town got its tasty name... City of Sandwich, IL

Some say it is related to the Sandwich Islands. Some say it has to do with the Earl of Sandwich, creator of the food still as popular as ever. Still others say it is the food itself which gave the town its moniker.

The answer is, none of the above, although it is worth noting the first plat of Sandwich was recorded by a man with the last name of Beveridge.

At that time, though, the town was not called Sandwich. It was in 1855, four years after the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy railroad first surveyed land through Almon Cage's property. Cage gave the land to build a depot on, knowing that would attract development of a town.

It did, and the town was named "Almon" after its first settler. Cage proceeded to offer free lots to anyone who would build in the newly-platted town, and a number of people took him up on it, including A.R. Patten, James Clark, Myrlin Carpenter and James Clark.

Cage did not like his first name used to name the town, so Almon was quickly scrapped in favor of Newark Station. But this only served to confuse the town with Newark to the south.
Still, residents pushed to have the railroad stop in Newark Station, originally, the railroad only had a flag stop there.

But it was not until "Long John" Wentworth went to Congress that Sandwich became Sandwich, and hit its stride. Wentworth used his influence to get the trains to stop in town, and also gave Sandwich its name - after his home town of Sandwich, New Hampshire.
After 1855, the town grew quickly. In 1857, there were 107 families in town; by 1860, there were 203 families.
By www.sandwich.il.us/history

Ham And Cheese Sandwich
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
4 onion buns
4 teaspoons mayonnaise
pepper, to taste
deli ham
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 small red onion, sliced

Directions:
Spread mayonnaise on each bun. Sprinkle pepper on top of mayonnaise. Add cheese, ham and onions. Place remaining onion bun on top. Serve with chips. Enjoy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Pork Meatballs With Sauce

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


Nobody is sure where the meatball originated and early recipes are difficult to find. It's easy to ascertain though, that meatballs as we know them, made with ground meat, were not possible until meat grinders were invented. Early meatballs would have been made from leftovers and hand-shredded. Or pounded with a heavy object and minced with primitive tools.

Food history tells us that meat was rare across the world and was enjoyed mostly by the rich. It was precious, so it can be assumed that it was never wasted, and no parts of a cut of meat or the leftovers would have been thrown away. Simply put, meatballs was a way to utilize this extraneous meat and squeeze another days' meal from it, not to mention another days' nutrition.

The type of meat prepared as meatballs was varied and influenced by geography. In China, for example, the mainstay was the pig, so their meatballs were likely made from pork. Similarly, in North Africa the Berber were shepherds of wild sheep whose fatty tales were prized. Whatever the meat, whatever the region, many recipes indicate some form of meatballs across the globe.
By www.suite101.com

 
Pork Meatballs With Sauce
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground pork
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 (18 oz) barbecue sauce ( I used honey barbecue sauce)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking pan with foil, then spray with nonstick cooking spray. In mixing bowl, add ground pork and remaining ingredients, except barbecue sauce. Mix well ( I used my hands to mix). Shape into 1 inch meatballs, making sure all meatballs are the same size. Place on baking pan about a inch apart. Bake 23 to 25 minutes, or until no longer pink in center. In a large nonstick skillet, add barbecue sauce, then add cooked meatballs. Simmer until heated through. Stir occasionally. Enjoy!

Note: Take one meatball and cut in half, just to make sure they are done.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Turkey Sausage With Potatoes

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


The manufacture of sausages began over two thousand years ago, and it is still a growing industry. While some of its basic practices are almost as old as civilization, the industry is constantly adopting new developments in processing in the light of later scientific and technical knowledge.

Sausage has been an important item in man's diet for twenty centuries. The first recognizable mention of this meat food is found in a Greek play called "The Oriya," or "The Sausage," written about 500 B.C. Thereafter the word for sausage occurs with frequency in Greek writings. It's also a favorite food of the Romans, at one time becoming so popular for festive occasions that it was placed under the ban of the early church.

The modern word "sausage" is derived from the Latin ~salsus~, meaning salted. The term was probably originally applied to cured or salted meat generally. In the days of old people did not have refrigeration to preserve their meat and so making sausage was a way of overcoming this problem.

Dry sausage was born as a result of the discovery of new spices, which helped to enhance, flavor and preserve the meat. Different countries and different cities within those countries started producing their own distinctive types of sausage, both fresh and dry. These different types of sausage were mostly influenced by the availability of ingredients as well as the climate.

Some parts of the world with periods of cold climate, such as northern Europe were able to keep their fresh sausage without refrigeration, during the cold months. They also developed a process of smoking the sausage to help preserve the meat during the warmer months. The hotter climates in the south of Europe developed dry sausage, which did not need refrigeration at all.

Basically people living in particular areas developed their own types of sausage and that sausage became associated with the area. For example Bologna originated in the town of Bologna in Northern Italy, Lyons sausage from Lyons in France and Berliner sausage from Berlin in Germany, in England they became associated with the county's, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Lincolnshire, Cumberland.
By www.oscarenterprises.f2s.com

Turkey Sausage With Potatoes
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 (14 oz) turkey smoked sausage, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce
olive oil

Directions:
Place olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add, sausage, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, cook until slightly brown. Add potatoes, just before potatoes are fork tender, add onions. Cook until potatoes and onions are fork tender. Enjoy!


 


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sauteed Green Bell Peppers

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


All bell peppers start out green. Bell peppers come in a variety of colors and can vary in flavor. The ripeness determine the flavor and color of each pepper. A red bell pepper is a mature green bell pepper. As a bell pepper ages, its flavor becomes sweeter and milder.

Bell peppers are available all year, but they are less expensive during the summer months. Fresh peppers come in variety of colors, shapes, and sizes, but when selecting them, their skin should be firm without any wrinkles, and the stems should be green. Avoid peppers with black spots.

Store unwashed bell peppers in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for about a week. Green bell peppers will stay fresh a little longer than the yellow and red peppers.

To freeze bell peppers, cut the top off and remove seeds and veins. Wash and dry. Then place the peppers in a freezer bag, making sure to remove air from freezer bag. and place in your freezer. Peppers will retain there quality for 6 months.

When peppers go on sale, I buy a lot, and freeze them. Having chopped, prepared veggies in the freezer is nice when you are short on time. 

Note, I say this a lot but I also feel I could never say it enough... Thank You! Y’all make me smile and brighten my day. I have great people who take time out of their busy lives to read my blog. I love how many of y’all also take the time to comment, good conversation and helping to make us closer. I love to read your comments and cherish them all, as well as the folks who write them! Please feel free to chat with each other in comments as well. I know that I read a comment that really makes my day, I'm thinking that this may happen to you as well. If you have a question, feel free to leave me a comment or send me an email. Y’all make yourself comfortable here! Have fun!

Sauteed Green Bell Pepper
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
2 large green bell peppers, seeds and veins removed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch crushed red pepper
grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions:
Remove veins and seeds from peppers, cut lengthwise into strips. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add crushed red pepper. Then add bell peppers, sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stirring occasionally. Cook until peppers are just tender. About 8 to 10 minutes. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Strawberry Cake

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


Strawberries have been known since the time of the Greeks and Romans. Wild American berries and French Strawberries were crossbred as early as 1624. Commercial strawberry growing began in America about 1800 near the largest eastern cities. Strawberries moved west with the pioneers and were reportedly grown near Vancouver, Washington at the Hudson Bay Post in 1836.

In 1846, Henderson Luelling traveled with his family from Iowa to Oregon by wagon train, with two extra wagon loads of fruit and nut trees and berry plants. Luelling’s plants thrived in the fertile Willamette Valley, and he opened a nursery in Milwaukee, Oregon in 1850. By 1870 he was advertising the Wilson variety of strawberries, which had been developed by James Wilson of New York, but were more suited to the Oregon climate. This variety helped establish the emerging strawberry industry in the Northwest, which was looked upon at the time as a stop gap measure until the larger fruit trees planted in the Hood River area could come to maturity. The first canneries were pioneered by Asa Lovejoy in Oregon City in 1870 and began processing and shipping berries across the country.

During the 1950’s and 1960’s Oregon farmers grew 90 to 100 million pounds of strawberries. Marshalls and Northwests continued to be the most widely grown berries.In fact, in the 1950’s the “Five Ton Club” was created to encourage berry farmers to grow even higher yields of the Marshall variety. Only a small percentage of farmers succeeded in reaching the goal of 5 tons of Marshalls per acre. This quote from the Sunday Oregonian, August 7, 1955 shows that some things never change. “Three years ago, when the council launched its ‘Five Ton Club” program, Oregon’ strawberry industry was in a gloomy frame of mind, predictions were heard on all sides that California, with its fantastic yields of up to 20 tons an acre, soon would drive Oregon out of business.”

By the 1970’s California had a large and growing strawberry industry. Although Oregon berries were far superior in taste and texture and unrivaled in qualities for canning and freezing, the California farmers were able to produce between 20 and 30 tons an acre compared to the 5 tons an acre grown by Oregon farmers. This began to drastically affect the market for Oregon berries.
By www.oregon-strawberries.org/history

Award... I am very excited and honored to be awarded. I would like to take a moment and thank http://foodandthriftfinds.blogspot.com for this honored. Please take a moment and visit her blog... great blog!

Strawberry Cake
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 (18.5 oz) box french vanilla cake mix
1 (16 oz) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and mashed
1 (3 oz) box strawberry flavored instant gelatin
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cups confectioners sugar, for the glaze
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bundt pan. In a mixing bowl, add strawberries and mash, then add cake mix, gelatin, eggs and vegetable oil. Mix well. Pour into prepare bundt pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Then cool completely on cooling rack. Enjoy!

Glaze:
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons water, more if needed (add just a little at a time)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together. Drizzle over top of cool cake. Enjoy!




Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mashed Potato Cakes

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


Nothing goes to waste in my home. I'm always thinking of ways to use my leftovers. I had some leftover mashed potatoes from dinner the other night. I think for most people potato is a favorite. I love potatoes. They are affordable. Low calories, full of nutrition and can be prepared in variety of ways.

Have you ever wonder why your potatoes turn green? They turn green because exposure to light... not good eats. Potatoes should be kept in a dark cool well ventilated place.

Potatoes and onions are great friends in any dish, but they should never be stored together. They both will spoil faster. 

Mashed Potato Cakes
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:
Heat oil and butter in skillet over medium high heat. Form large patties. In a dish add flour, salt and pepper, mix. Coat potato patties in flour. Add the potato patties to skillet and reduce heat to medium low heat. Cook until patties are brown. About 10 to 15 minutes, turn and cook on the other side until brown. Sprinkle with salt and serve. Enjoy!

Note: Don't turn the potato cakes to soon, you won't get the buttery crust.
 



Friday, May 13, 2011

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Award

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


Growing up, mom often made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. She would use white bread and American cheese, which was good. But I decided to make my own grilled cheese sandwich. I have a few variations on grilled cheese. This time I used 12 grain bread with pepper jack cheese. I always make my grilled cheese with butter. The Pepper jack cheese melts well. And you can't go wrong with cheese and bacon.

Award... I am very excited and honored to be awarded. I would like to take a moment and thank www.manusmenu.com for this honored. Please take a moment and visit her blog... great blog!

Grilled Cheese Sandwich & Award
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
4 slices bread, I used 12 grain, or use your favorite bread
4 slices pepper jack cheese
2 tablespoons butter
4 slices smoked bacon, cooked and broken into pieces

Directions:
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Place 2 slices of bread on a plate and butter the top of each bread. Place 2 slices of bread buttered side down in the skillet. Place 2 slices of cheese on the bread, sprinkle bacon on top of cheese. Top with 2 remaining slices of bread, placed buttered side up. Cook until bread browns and cheese slightly melted, about 3 minutes. Turn the sandwiches. Making sure cheese is completely melted and bread is brown. Enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fish Tacos

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Tilapia in the future... As the wild fish populations in our oceans are facing problems with over fishing, more and more consumers are looking for alternatives to endangered species like cod. Tilapia could play an important role here, since it can be farmed instead of caught from the wild. Several projects have also been launched where destitute families around the world are encouraged to farm tilapias in their own backyard to feed themselves and possibly sell surplus fish at local markets. In Latin America, larger commercial farms exporting fresh tilapia to the U.S. market have provided job opportunities for the local population. Tilapia farms exporting frozen tilapia are also an important source of income for many countries in South East Asia.  Tilapia farms can be a way for tropical countries to take advantage of their warm climate, since tilapia can be grown year round as long as the water temperature is high enough.
Info by www.aquaticcommunity.com

Fish Tacos
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
2 tilapia fillets, cut into strips
3 flour tortillas
extra virgin olive oil
nonstick cooking spray
creole seasoning, to taste
slaw, for garnish
slices red onions, for garnish
sour cream, for garnish
tarter sauce, for garnish

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a shallow baking dish with nonstick spray. Place the tilapia in a baking dish and drizzle olive oil over top of fish, then sprinkle evenly with creole seasoning. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Let the fish rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Add fish to tortillas and garnish with any of the garnishes. Enjoy!



Friday, May 6, 2011

No Fuss Beef Stroganoff

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.


The origin and history of Beef Stroganoff is an excellent lesson in food lore. While food historians generally agree the dish takes its name from Count Stroganoff, a 19th century Russian noble, there are conflicting theories regarding the genesis of this "classic" dish. Certainly, there is evidence confirming the recipe predate the good Count and his esteemed chef.

Despite the allusion of the name "stroganoff" to Count Paul Stroganoff, a 19th century Russian diplomat, the origins of the dish have never been confirmed. Larousse Gastronomique notes that similar dishes were known since the 18th century but insists the dish by this specific name was the creation of chef Charles Briere who was working in St. Petersburg when he submitted the recipe to L 'Art Culinaire in 1891, but the dish seems much older. It did not appear in English cookbooks until 1932, and it was not until the 1940s that beef stroganoff became popular for elegant dinner parties in America.
Restaurant Hospitality, John Mariani, January 1999 (p. 76).

Unlike the French, who name dishes after the chefs who devised them, the Russians have usually attached the names of famous households to their cuisine--the cooks were usually serfs. For example, we have Beef Stroganoff, Veal Orlov, and Bagration Soup. One of the few exceptions is a cutlet of poultry of real named after Pozharskii, a famous tavern keeper...The last prominent scion of the dynasty, Count Pavel Stroganoff, was a celebrity in turn of the century St. Petersburg, a dignitary at the court of Alexander III, a member of the Imperial Academy of Arts, and a gourmet. It is doubtful that Beef Stroganoff was his or his chef's invention since the recipe was included in the 1871 edition of the Molokhovets cookbook...which predates his fame as a gourmet. Not a new recipe, by the way, but a refined version of an even older Russian recipe, it had probably been in the family for some years and became well known through Pavel Stroganoff's love of entertaining."
The Art of Russian Cuisine, Anne Volokh with Mavis Manus [Macmillan:New York] 1983 (p. 266)

Count Pavel Stroganov, a celebrity in turn of the century St. Petersburg, was a noted gourmet as well as a friend of Alexander III. He is frequently credited with creating Beef Stroganoff or having a chef who did so, but in fact a recipe by that name appears in a cookbook published in 1871, well ahead of the heyday of the genial count. In all probability the dish had been in the family for some years and came to more general notice throughout Pavel's love of entertaining.
Rare Bits: Unusual Origins of Popular Recipes, Patricia Bunning Stevens [Ohio University Press:Athens] 1998 (p.103).
Info by www.foodtimeline.org 

No Fuss Beef Stroganoff
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz) can mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
cooked egg noodles

Directions:
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Brown beef, breaking beef up as it cooks. Season meat with Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add onion and mushrooms, cook until onions tender. Add mushroom soup. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning if desired. Serve over cooked noodles. Enjoy!



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gingerbread

Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

   
Gingerbread has been baked in Europe since the eleventh century. In some places, it was a soft, delicately spiced cake, in others, a crisp, flat cookie, and in others, warm, thick, dark squares of "bread," sometimes served with a pitcher of lemon sauce or whipped cream. It was sometimes light, sometimes dark, sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy, but it was almost always cut into shapes such as men, women, stars or animals, and colorfully decorated or stamped with a mold and dusted with white sugar.

In Medieval England gingerbread meant simply "preserved ginger" and was an adaptation of the Old French gingebras, derived from the Latin name of the spice, Zingebar. It was only in the fifteenth century that the term came to be applied to a kind of cake made with treacle, an uncrystalized syrup drained from raw sugar during the refining process, and flavored with ginger. Ginger was also discovered to have a preservative effect when added to pastries and bread, and this probably led to the development of recipes for ginger cakes, cookies, and flavored breads.

During the nineteenth century, gingerbread was modernized. When the Grimm brothers collected volumes of German fairy tales they found one about Hansel and Gretel, two children who, abandoned in the woods by penniless parents, discovered a house made of bread, cake and candies.

At Christmas, gingerbread makes its most impressive appearance. The German practice of making lebkuchen houses never caught on in Britain in the same way as it did in North America, and it is here still that the most extraordinary creations are found.

Gingerbread making in North America has its origins in the traditions of the many settlers from all parts of Northern Europe who brought with them family recipes and customs. By the nineteenth century, America had been baking gingerbread for decades.

American recipes usually called for fewer spices than their European counterparts, but often make use of ingredients that were only available regionally. Maple syrup gingerbreads were made in New England, and in the South sorghum molasses was used. Regional variations began occurring as more people arrived from Europe. In Pennsylvania, the influence of German cooking was great and many traditional Germany gingerbreads reappeared in this area, especially at Christmas time.

Nowhere in the world is there a greater collection of gingerbread recipes than in America —there are so many variations in taste, form and presentation. With the vast choice of ingredients, baking aids and decorative items the imaginative cook can create the most spectacular gingerbread houses and centerpieces ever. 
Info by ultimategingerbread.com/gingerbreadhistory

Gingerbread
Copyright 2011 Christine's Pantry. All rights reserved.

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup molasses

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and line the pan with parchment paper. Mix together flour, ginger, salt and baking powder into bowl. In another bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until soft. Beat in eggs. Then add molasses, mix. Add dry ingredients, stir. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan. Serve with a dollop of cool whip or vanilla ice cream, if desired. Enjoy!




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