Are We What We Eat?

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Historical Kosher Dinner Recipes

Hors D'oeuvres

Hush Puppies AKA Corn Oysters (from the Jewish Cookery Cookbook, 1871)

CORN OYSTERS--Take six ears of boiled corn, three eggs, a tablespoonful and half of flour; beat the yolks well, until they are thick; grate the corn off the cobs, and season with pepper and salt; mix it with the yolks and add the flour; whisk the whites to a stiff froth; stir them in the corn and yolks; put a spoonful of the batter at a time in a pan of hot butter, and fry a light brown on both sides.Pickled Fish (from a hand written 1879 family cookbook of a Sephardic family in New York)

Pickled Fish (from a hand written 1879 family cookbook of a Sephardic family in New York)

PICKLED SALMON (adapted from Justina Hendricks Henry)

2 cups white vinegar
4 tablespoons sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
One half teaspoon mustard seed
One half teaspoon cardamom pods
One half teaspoon mace blades
One half teaspoon coriander seeds
One half teaspoon black pepper
One half teaspoon cloves
1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced
1 cinnamon stick
6 bay leaves
1 red hot pepper like a pequin, crumbled
2 pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and sliced thin

1. Bring 2 cups of water, the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil in a wide saucepan. Add the mustard seed, cardamom, mace, coriander, black pepper, cloves, ginger, cinnamon stick, and bay leaves. Lay the salmon fillet in the pot and simmer for a few minutes and then let cool completely.

2. Lay the salmon fillet in a glass dish large enough to hold it in one piece. Pour the pickling water over it and scatter with the spices. Top with the onion rings and cover the container.

3. Leave in the refrigerator for 3 days, making sure that the salmon is submerged. Remove the salmon from the marinade, straining and discarding the spices. Cut the salmon into 1 1/2 inch slices and serve as an appetizer covered with the liquid and the onions. If you like, you can also serve with sour cream.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Jewish Foie Gras on Bruchetta

Dinner

Arugula Salad with Beets (from the Jewish Cookery Cookbook, 1871)

SALADS--The herbs should be nice and fresh. They will improve in flavor by laying in spring water an hour or two. It is very important that they should be carefully washed, picked and dried, before using. Prepare them in tills way: boil two eggs for twelve minutes, and then put them in cold water for a few minutes, so that the yolks may become quite cold and hard; rub the yolks quite fine with a wooden spoon. If for supper, mix them with a tablespoonful of cream, and then add one or two tablespoonfuls of the best flask oil; add, by degrees, a tablespoonful of salt, and the same quantity of mustard; mix till smooth. When well mixed with the other ingredients, add about three tablespoonfuls of vinegar; then pour this sauce in a salad bowl, but do not stir up the salad until wanted to be eaten. Garnish with slices of bread, boiled eggs, slices of beet root, and chopped white of eggs; then cut in quarters, and put on top.

Sweet and Sour Beef with Dried Plums, Figs, and Raisins (from the first New York Times Review of a Jewish Dish, 1871)
Bohemian Potatoes (from Aunt Babettes Cookbook)

BOHEMIAN POTATO PUFF--Pare, wash and boil potatoes until soft enough to mash well. Drain off nearly all the water, leaving just a little, add a, small handful of salt and return to the stove. It is better to boil the potatoes in salt water and add more salt if necessary after mashing. Sift half a cupful of flour into the potatoes after returning to the fire and keep covered closely for about five minutes. Then remove from the stove and mash them as hard as you can, so as not to have any lumps. They must be of the consistency of dough and smooth as velvet. Now put about two large spoonfuls of goosefat in a spider, chop up some onions very fine and heat them until they become a light brown, take a tablespoon and dip it in the hot fat and then cut a spoonful of the potato dough with the same spoon and put it in the spider, and so on until you have used it all up. Be careful to dip your spoon in the hot fat every time you cut a puff. Let them brown slightly. If you have ever tried this you will always have this dish at least once a week during the winter, as old potatoes are always palatable prepared in this way.

Stringed Beans
Fall Apple Kuchen with Wine Sauce (from The "Settlement" Cookbook, 1903)

APPLE CAKE (KUCHEN)--After the pan is heavily greased with nice butter, roll out a piece of dough quite thin lift it up with the aid of the rolling pin and lay it in the pan, press a rim out of the dough all around the pan and let it raise for about ten minutes. Then lay on the apples in rows. Pare the apples, core and quarter them, dipping each piece in melted butter, before laying on the cake, sprinkle bountifully with sugar (brown being preferable to white for this purpose) and cinnamon. See that you have nice tart apples. Leave the cake in the pans and cut out the pieces just as you would want to serve them. If they stick to the pan, set the pan on top of the hot stove for a minute and the cake will then come out all right.

 

 

2004 Program in Judaic Studies, The George Washington University
2142 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20052 | phone: (202) 994-2190
Site maintained by Sarah Mergel, judaic@gwu.edu. Last updated: 23 February 2005

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