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The Food Almanac: Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Food Almanac: Thursday, October 3, 2013

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Annals Of American Cuisine
Today is the birthday, in 1964, of Buffalo hot chicken wings. Or--as they call them in Buffalo, New York--simply "wings." Although there are other claimants to their birth, the most widely-accepted story is that they were made up from various leftovers by Teressa Bellissimo. She and husband Frank owned the Anchor Bar. Their son showed up unexpectedly from college, late at night, hungry, with friends. Teressa fried some uncoated chicken wings she had for making stock, and tossed them with some Frank's RedHot sauce (the Northeast's answer to Tabasco), added some celery and carrot sticks and blue cheese dressing, and a legend was born. In this latter day, chicken wing franchises are mushrooming all over the country. WOW ("World Of Wings") Wingery is the local player in that game. Wings are pretty good once in a while, but you can really get tired of them, even with the vast array of sauces that have been brought to bear on them.

Gourmet Gazetteer
Wings Landing, Maryland is on the Choptank River, on the Delmarva Peninsula. It's seventy-three miles and a crossing of the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore, in rural countryside with small farms. It was a steamboat landing on the much-fished Choptank in the middle 1800s. The tidal river produces oysters and crabs. The nearest place to eat is Miss Minia's Cafe, five miles away in Preston.

Today's Flavor
It's National Canned Tomato Day. Tomatoes are the only canned food serious chefs admit to using. That owes to the legendary excellence of canned San Marzano tomatoes. Grown in the volcanic soils in the Campania region of Italy, these are the tomatoes that made the red sauces of Italy famous. Those plum ("Roma") tomatoes dominate the cuisine of Naples and, really, all of southern Italy. Including New Orleans, which in its Italian cooking is a Sicilian colony.

San Marzano tomatoes have declined in recent decades, though. Plant diseases and a decline in the Italian farming population has made American tomatoes preferable. Which makes sense: tomatoes are New World fruits to begin with. Several brands of the plum-shaped Roma tomatoes will be found on the shelves of any decent supermarket.

I use these tomatoes for pasta and pizza sauces, salsa, and even guacamole. I only buy the whole tomatoes, even though the first thing I do with them is to crush them (by hand or in a food processor). Why bother, when you can buy the tomatoes already crushed in a can? Here's why. Whole tomatoes must be nearly flawless. Inferior tomatoes can be trimmed of bad spots, crushed or pureed, and nobody knows the difference--except in flavor. Another example that the less a food is processed, the better it is.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez:
When you're making a tomato sauce--especially the ones cooked only a few minutes--use both canned and fresh tomatoes. Especially if the fresh ones are small. Cherry tomatoes add fresh-tasting acidity to the eventual sauce.

Edible Dictionary
Roma tomato, n.--Also known as a plum tomato, for its shape and size. Although it's a descendant of several Italian strains of tomato--including the San Marzano tomato, the most revered variety in Italian cooking--it was actually developed in the 1950s in the United States, and for the usual reason: it looks nice on the produce rack, and has a long shelf life. When ripe, however, Roma tomatoes make a fine marinara sauce. When a little firmer, they're good in salads, and as the base of finger food--notably shrimp remoulade or crabmeat ravigote.

Deft Dining Rule #431
Despite their popularity, fried green tomatoes taste nowhere near as good with crabmeat or shrimp on top as a thick slice of ripe red tomato.

Eating Around The World
According to legend, the people who became Korea founded their state today in 2233 BCE. They called themselves the Gojoseon then. The archeological evidence of this is scant. But the Koreans did have a well-developed society a very long time ago. Their culture later gave rise to that of Japan, as well as their own. The Korean cuisine includes many dishes that seem to hearken back to people who were always on the move. Marinated and grilled meats are prominent in Korean cookery, as are preserved, spiced vegetables (kimchee being the leading example of that).

Food Inventions
Today in 1996, George Goble of Purdue University received the IgNoble Prize for setting the world's record for lighting a barbecue pit. It took him three seconds, but he was cheating: he used liquid oxygen on the coals, which meant he didn't even need a match.

Food Namesakes
Shane Butterworth, who played Timmy in the movie The Bad News Bears, was born today in 1969. The group Wild Cherryhad a Number One hit today in 1976 with Play That Funky Music White Boy.

Words To Eat By
"A boy doesn't have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn't like pie when he sees there isn't enough to go around."--Edgar Watson Howe, American writer, who died today in 1937.

Words To Drink By
"Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used."--William Shakespeare,Othello.

Our Best One-Pot Meals

Satisfy your comfort food craving without making a sinkful of dirty dishes. From warming soups and stews to comforting bowls of macaroni and cheese, these dishes are all about big flavor — and easy cleanup!

Related To:

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Ray Kachatorian ©2012, Televison Food Network. G.P.

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Marshall Troy ©2012, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Antonis Achilleos

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©(C) 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©(C) 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, GP. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.


Not to be confused with the Hungarian dish of paprika-spiced stewed meat and vegetables, this American version of goulash, also referred to as "slumgullion," is made with ground beef and pasta. The beef is cooked down with plenty of aromatics and spices and combined with tomatoes, pasta, and cheese to create the perfect comfort meal. We added paprika to the dish in a nod to its Hungarian counterpart.

Macaroni and Cheese

You can't go wrong with Tyler's macaroni and cheese. He uses cheddar and Parmesan to play up the classic flavors. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes for a perfect golden crust.

Simple, Perfect Chili

The name says it all: Ree's chili is a simple, perfect one-pot meal-in-a-hurry.

Creamy Skillet Chicken

One humble skillet has four jobs in this easy weeknight meal: it sears, sautes, simmers and steams. The cleanup is so minimal, your dishwasher will be out of work!

Perfect Pot Roast

Chicken Ramen Noodle Casserole

Low maintenance and packed with flavor, this creamy casserole transforms dorm-friendly ramen noodles into a satisfying casserole for a crowd.

20-Minute Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi Pasta

The genius of this recipe is that all of the ingredients &mdash wine, garlic, shrimp &mdash even the pasta &mdash cook together in one pot. Just make sure to use shrimp that's still frozen or they will overcook. You don't have to serve garlic bread with the dish, but there's nothing better for sopping up all that delicious buttery sauce.

Roasted Squash Chili Mac

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Use tomato paste, heavy cream and sweet chunks of lobster tail to create an extra-thick, extra-decadent macaroni and cheese that's worthy of a special occasion.

Mac and Smoked Gouda with Cauliflower

Mac and Cheese with Bacon

Chickless Pot Pie

Buffalo-Chicken Mac and Cheese

Chicken and Noodles

"Not to be confused with chicken noodle soup," Ree says, "this recipe is more of a thick chicken stew." To thicken the sauce, Ree adds a mixture of flour and water that she calls a "cowboy's roux" &mdash fitting for a hearty meal on the ranch.

Jack's Brunswick Stew

Trisha likes to use hen in her Brunswick stew. It's a fattier bird, which produces a rich broth, but it can be hard to find in grocery stores. Not to worry &mdash standard chicken is just as good, she says.

One-Pot Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

Add pulled pork to this Cheddar-and-mozzarella mac and cheese top it with barbecue or hot sauce if you're feeling bold.

Beef Stew with Root Vegetables

Leftover Baked Potato Soup

Don't let leftover baked potatoes from last night's dinner go to waste. Alton halves the potatoes, then scoops out the starchy filling and feeds it through a ricer. The potatoes' mild flavor blends perfectly with the buttermilk, sour cream and grated Parmesan.

Chicken Soup with Matzo Balls

Ina starts by making a homemade chicken stock, which she later uses to cook the matzo balls in. Leave the skins on the onion and garlic &mdash it gives the soup its golden hue, and "it all gets strained later," Ina says.

Chicken Pot Pie

Curry Chicken Pot Pie

New England Clam Chowder

Spicy Beef Chili

Tyler's Texas Chili

Spaghetti and Meatball "Stoup"

Spicy Corn Chowder

Manhattan Clam Chowder

Shortcut Fried Chicken and Dumplings

Leftover fried chicken thankfully finds its way into this creamy skillet dinner, and the biscuit-like dumplings bake up into a flaky, golden crust. It's like chicken and dumplings meets pot pie.

Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie is the perfect way to get your kids to eat their vegetables. Packed with protein and fiber, Alton's hearty homage to the U.K. comfort food will leave your family stuffed and happy.

Sausage and Veggie Stew

Italian Chicken Soup with Parmesan Gnocchi

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Easy Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Grilled cheese and tomato soup is a classic combination that kids love. Ina's easy soup recipe features a thick, oniony base and perfectly golden grilled cheese croutons for a sophisticated spin that adults will appreciate.

Mac and Cheese Soup

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

Sunny recommends twining up the thyme, parsley and sage before submerging them in the chicken broth. It makes it easier to remove the herbs once the broth has taken on their earthy flavors.

Matzo Ball Soup

To make the matzo balls, Bobby uses seltzer water, egg and schmaltz (rendered chicken fat used for frying). Staying true to character, he steeps roasted jalapenos in his broth for a spicier soup.

Chicken Stew

Giada's stew is quick and easy to prepare since it doesn't require cooking a whole chicken. Using only chicken breasts cuts down on time and prep work.

Mexican Chorizo & Turkey Chili

Quick and Spicy Tomato Soup

Creamy Stovetop Macaroni and Cheese

Chunky Chili

Chunks of chuck roast and three different beans lend bite and texture to Ree&rsquos super-easy chili.

Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Kale and Mushrooms

Creamy Jalapeno Popper Macaroni and Cheese

Creamy Pizza Macaroni and Cheese

Breakfast Macaroni and Cheese with Sausage and Hash Browns

Macaroni and Cheese Carbonara

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Make-Ahead Paella Casserole

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole with Cauliflower

Black Bean Lasagna

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Classic Italian Lasagna

Oxtail Stew

This oxtail stew is inspired by the Jamaican version, with tender oxtails and butter beans seasoned with spicy habaneros, ginger and allspice. Time is the key to the comforting brown gravy, which simmers for several hours, intensifying in flavor and rich color. We love it even more the next day, once the beans have had time to break down and the oxtails melt into the gravy even more. Serve with a few dashes of hot sauce for added heat and acidity.

Sloppy Joe and Macaroni Casserole

Baked Bean Casserole

Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes

You&rsquove never had lentils this delicious before. Don&rsquot skip the fresh thyme or red wine vinegar &mdash together, they add a huge pop of flavor!

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Feel Good Sweet Potato Stew

Packed with sweet potatoes, beans and nuts, Michael&rsquos hearty stew is a dish you&rsquoll crave again and again.

Comforting Casserole Recipes

Warm, hearty and comforting: There’s nothing like a good, old-fashioned casserole. Whether you’re craving a classic like tuna noodle or looking for a recipe with a twist (like mini spinach and artichoke chicken casseroles), these recipes are sure to satisfy.

Related To:

Photo By: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Photo By: Renee Comet ©Renee Comet

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Chantell Quernemoen

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2012, Television Food Network, GP. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©Copyright 2015

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Photo By: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.


Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Chicken Ramen Casserole

Low maintenance and packed with flavor, this creamy casserole transforms dorm-friendly ramen noodles into a satisfying casserole for a crowd.

Beef and Cheddar Casserole

Try a new take on the casserole &mdash a standby one-dish dinner. This one combines hearty ground beef with cheddar and egg noodles.

Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole with Cauliflower

With just a little day-before prep work, this creamy casserole comes together quickly with mushrooms, poached chicken and cauliflower.

Bagel Breakfast Casserole

This dish has everything you love about a traditional bagel breakfast sandwich, but it's all baked into a casserole that can be made the night before.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tomato Vegetable Casserole

Giada's colorful veggie casserole, full of potatoes, yams, bell pepper and zucchini, would be excellent alongside grilled steak. Thanks to the crusty Parmesan-breadcrumb topping, it's filling enough to serve as a vegetarian main course, too.

Spaghetti-and-Meatballs Casserole

Eat spaghetti and meatballs by the slice instead of the bowl. Each slab of this kid-friendly casserole has tiny meatballs and pockets of gooey cheese. Add slices of leftover cooked Italian sausage if you have it.

Loaded Cauliflower Casserole

Cauliflower just got loaded &mdash like a baked potato, that is. All the familiar flavors of your favorite stuffed spud are in this cheesy casserole that is low in carbs and high in flavor.

Chicken Tortilla Dump Dinner

All your favorite Tex-Mex flavors in a comforting casserole that's fast and easy to throw together.

Tuna Noodle Dump Dinner

This creamy tuna-noodle dump dinner is made entirely in one baking dish, egg noodles included. It tastes just like the casserole you grew up eating but requires less equipment (and cleanup). Instead of using the classic cream of mushroom soup, we opted for a combination of cheese, broth, heavy cream and sour cream, which provides the same velvety texture.

Spinach and Artichoke Chicken Casseroles

Creamy, cozy and oh-so-delicious, Molly&rsquos casserole is the ultimate make-ahead meal. She stores her casserole in the freezer and pops it in the oven for just 30 minutes when she needs a heat-and-eat dinner.

Alfredo Shrimp Scampi Dump Dinner

Just dump a box of pasta, bag of shrimp and a few other pantry staples into a dish and bake. Right before serving, stir in the heavy cream and top with grated cheese and fresh parsley for a rich and creamy weeknight dinner in a flash.

Copycat Hash Brown Casserole

This copycat hash brown casserole is an incredibly comforting side dish you'll want to make for both breakfast spreads and dinner parties alike. We opted to ditch the canned creamed soup and make a homemade cheese sauce instead. The result is a homey rendition of the classic Cracker Barrel dish.

Best Ever Green Bean Casserole

A classic made modern and fresh, Alton ditches the traditional cream of mushroom soup and canned green beans, instead using real mushrooms, half-and-half and fresh green beans.

Coconut-Almond French Toast Casserole

Broccoli and Orzo Casserole

We love creamy Havarti cheese for this comforting casserole. The mild Danish cheese is widely available in different flavors &mdash try dill or caraway for extra punch.

Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Twice Baked Potato Casserole

Instead of filling each individual potato skin, Ree reinvents cheesy, bacon-laced twice baked potatoes as a comforting casserole.

Classic Italian Lasagna

Tackle Giada's traditional lasagna by making each of the separate components before layering.

Chicken Pot Pie with Cheddar Crust

For this cozy feast, the chicken will do double duty: once with the meat in the filling and once with the bones to enrich some store-bought broth. And that cheddar crust? Totally worth making from scratch.

Sloppy Joe and Macaroni Casserole

Make-Ahead Paella Casserole

Italian Baked Chicken and Pastina

Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken Noodle Casserole

Black Bean Lasagna

Trisha's veggie lasagna is anything but boring. Black beans, tofu ricotta and fire-roasted tomatoes make for a comforting, flavorful meal that's vegetarian and dairy-free.

Curried Cauliflower and Chickpea Dump Dinner

Skip cooking a big pot of rice and throw the ingredients into a casserole dish instead for an easy dump-dinner meal. The basmati rice and chickpeas absorb all the delicious flavors of ginger, garlic, curry powder and coconut milk. Finish with a quick drizzle of yogurt along with fresh cilantro leaves and lime wedges for a simple and complete meal.

Beef and Bean Taco Casserole

We nicknamed this the "broken enchilada" casserole because the soft layer of cooked tortilla chips on the bottom reminded us of enchiladas. The best part? This dish is so much easier to make!

Sweet Potato Casserole

Make this crowd-pleasing favorite the classic way: with buttery mashed sweet potatoes and a crunchy pecan topping.

Breakfast Sausage Casserole

Trisha&rsquos make-ahead sausage casserole is just as good for dinner as it is for breakfast. Use sage sausage for fragrant, herby results.

Baked Spaghetti

Roast Chicken Enchilada Suizas Stacked Casserole

Rachael's enchilada sauce with poblano peppers, tomatillos and cumin has just the right amount of heat and all the cheesy goodness you crave.

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole

Grilled Cheese-and-Tomato Casserole

If tomato soup and grilled cheese is your go-to comfort food, then we have the casserole for you. Using the broiler instead of the stovetop makes the work of grilling the bread and cheese easier-try it method when you're cooking sandwiches for a crowd.

Spinach Lasagna With Mushroom Ragu

Corn and Crab Chowder Pot Pies

A single-serving mash up of cozy chowder and hearty pot pie, this casserole is sure to please.

Lumberjack Breakfast Casserole

Get all your favorite breakfast foods in one bite! And change up the cheese if you want &mdash try Pepper Jack for a little spice.

Chocolate-Banana Pancake Breakfast Casserole

Have bananas with your flapjacks. Oh, and chocolate, too. Add a few sliced strawberries or a handful of raspberries for an extra pop of flavor and color!

Baked Bean Casserole

Trisha mixes pork, beans and barbecue sauce in this simple casserole that easily serves a crowd.

Skillet Spaghetti Casserole

Nestle cooked spaghetti into an egg mixture in a skillet, then top it with a layer of mozzarella and Parmesan.

Butternut, Bacon and Apple Hotdish

As Molly says, this dish is &ldquolike sweater weather in food form.&rdquo She whips up a homemade biscuit dough to bake on top of her bacon, apple and butternut squash casserole.

Pierogi Casserole

Skip the store-bought pierogi and make Michael&rsquos five-star casserole instead. He layers a homemade pasta dough with mashed potatoes, caramelized onions, bacon and cheese for the ultimate comfort dish.

Slow-Cooker Breakfast Sausage Casserole

If you love an all-American breakfast with hash browns, eggs, sausage and peppers, then this is the recipe for you! Besides being downright delicious, the cheesy casserole can cook overnight. Assemble all the ingredients in your slow cooker, set it on low and wake up to a hearty meal that's ready first thing in the morning for hungry houseguests.

Meatball and Polenta Casserole

A simple green salad is the only side needed for Ree&rsquos meaty and cheesy casserole.

Cornbread Chili Casserole

&ldquoThis dish is perfect for a crowd, and it&rsquos just as good with ground turkey or chicken,&rdquo says Trisha.

Tater Tot Breakfast Casserole

&ldquoA bag of frozen tots lays the foundation for this hearty, cheesy winner of a breakfast casserole,&rdquo says Ree.

Recipe Summary

  • 1/2 tablespoon Madeira
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground mace
  • 1 teaspoon piment d'Espelette (see Note)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon minced lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 12 large head-on shrimp (about 1 1/2 pounds)&mdashheads and tails left on, bodies shelled and deveined
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine the Madeira, lemon juice, mace, piment d'Espelette and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt mix well. Let the spice mixture stand at room temperature for 10 minutes, then mix in the butter.

In a small bowl, combine the parsley, lemon zest and garlic. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add half of the shrimp and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden brown and just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Add 2 tablespoons of the spiced butter to the skillet and cook until lightly browned add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and toss to coat the shrimp in the sauce. Using tongs, transfer the shrimp to a serving platter. Strain the butter sauce through a sieve into a small bowl. Repeat with the remaining olive oil, shrimp, lemon juice and 2 more tablespoons of the butter. Season the butter sauce with salt and drizzle it over the shrimp. Top with the gremolata and serve.

Chicken Cacciatore

The rich herbed tomato sauce and the tender chicken will not last long on the pantry shelves &ndash as soon as you serve one jar of it, your family will beg you to make it again!

To make life even simpler, this is a raw-pack recipe.

  • 3 pounds of boneless chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces (a mix of breasts and thighs is nice)
  • 2 cups of red and green peppers, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups of onion, cut into 8ths
  • 2 cups of mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 cups of diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 2 tbsp of oregano
  • 2 tbsp of basil
  • 2 tbsp of thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Layer chicken, peppers, onions, mushroom and garlic in quart jars.
  2. In a large stockpot bring wine, tomatoes, and herbs to a boil. Ladle hot liquid over the layered ingredients in your sanitized jars.
  3. Lid the jars and process in your p-canner for 90 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, based on altitude.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: When preparing the cacciatore, stir in a small can of tomato paste when heating to thicken the sauce. Serve over pasta, with a side of garlic bread.

Lidia’s Commonsense Italian Cooking: 150 Delicious and Simple Recipes Anyone Can Master by Lidia Bastianich Available: October 15th, 2013 In her beautifully illustrated new cookbook, Lidia Bastianich lays out a comprehensive curriculum of wise cooking tips–from the cutting board to the kitchen table. These recipes teach us how create simple, seasonal Italian dishes with grace, confidence and love. Seriously Bitter Sweet: The Ultimate Dessert Maker’s Guide to Chocolate by Alice Medrich Available: October 22nd, 2013 Today’s world of chocolate is a much larger universe, where not only is the quality better and variety wider, but the very composition of the chocolate has changed. The Art of Simple Food II: Recipes, Flavor, and Inspiration from the New Kitchen Garden by Alice Water Available: October 29th, 2013 Alice Waters, the iconic food luminary, presents 200 new recipes that share her passion for the many delicious varieties of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that you can grown in your own garden or find at the farmers market. The Art of Simple Food II showcases flavor as inspiration and embodies Alice’s vision for eating what grows in the earth all year long. The Gramercy Tavern Cookbook by Michael Anthony Available: October 29th, 2013 One of the best New York restaurants, a culinary landmark that has been changing the face of American dining for decades, now shares its beloved recipes, stories, and pioneering philosophy. Opened in 1994, Gramercy Tavern is more than just a restaurant. It has become a New York institution earning dozens of accolades, including six James Beard awards. Cooking from the Heart: My Favorite Lessons Learned Along the Way by John Besh Available: October 29th, 2013 James Beard Award-winning chef John Besh shares the lessons he learned from his mentors through 140 accessible recipes and cooking lessons. Featuring lush photography, inspiring personal stories, and a rich expanse of culinary knowledge, Cooking from the Heart is the next best thing to having an apprenticeship with Chef Besh.

Civil War: Thanksgiving Foods

Since the holidays are upon us, and we are also still in the midst of commemorating the Sesquicentennial of the U.S. Civil War, we thought it might be interesting to explore what the soldiers ate during that war and how they celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday.

George Washington had signed a Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789 recommending November 26th of that year be a “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.”  (The Library of Congress has a copy of this proclamation).  At the time of the Civil War, some states did celebrate Thanksgiving on a day decided by the governor—usually in October or November after the crops had been harvested and the bounty preserved.  From 1837-1877, Sarah Buell Hale, editor of  the country’s most popular magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, promoted Thanksgiving through the pages of her magazine.  She printed recipes for creating the perfect dinner of turkey, oysters, potatoes, macaroni, chicken pot pie, cranberries, and pie.  She also lobbied every president from Zachary Taylor to Abraham Lincoln to proclaim Thanksgiving as a national holiday.  On October 3, 1863, in the midst of the war, President Lincoln issued a Proclamation of Thanksgiving, setting aside the last Thursday in November “as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise.”

Thanksgiving in camp sketched Thursday 28th 1861. Alfred R. Waud.

From Civil War diaries we know what the troops ate generally and on special occasions.  For holidays, various organizations solicited donations of food including poultry, mince pies, sausages and fruit.  One account notes that the Sanitary Commission put on a feed in the field that consisted of Turkey, Chicken, and Apples—but a day late.  A soldier noted, “It isn’t the turkey, but the idea that we care for.” In the University of Iowa’s collections of Civil War Diaries and Letters, Asa Bean, a surgeon in the Union Army, wrote describing his Thanksgiving dinner on November 27, 1862, and I quote:

There has been a surprise party here to Day for the Benefit of Soldiers and Nurses they were furnished with a Thanksgiving Dinner roast Turkey Chicken & Pigeon & Oysters Stewed.  … I had a good dinner of Baked Chicken & Pudding Boiled potatoes, Turnip, Apple butter, cheese butter, Tea & Trimmings …we live well enough, but cannot Eat Much without being sick.

The Confederate soldier’s rations consisted of corn bread, mule meat or a meat substitute of “rice and molasses.”  There are reports of men existing for days on handfuls of parched corn or field peas.  “Cush” or “slosh”—a dish of necessity—was made by putting small pieces of beef in bacon grease, then pouring in water and “stewing it.” Next, corn bread was crumbled in it, and the mixture was “stewed” again until all the water was cooked out.”  Another dish combined Irish potatoes and green apples boiled together and mashed and seasoned with onions.  Yet another dish, known as Slapjack, consisted of a thick mixture of cornmeal or flour and fried in Bacon grease until it was brown.

“Hard Tack” Hartford, Conn. : The War Photograph & Exhibition Co.

The Union soldiers’ rations were somewhat better.  Salt pork, ham, beans, split peas, dried fruits, hardtack, and desiccated vegetables were on the list.  The unpopular desiccated vegetables were often called desecrated vegetables.  These were layers of cabbage leaves, turnip tops, sliced carrots, turnips, parsnips, and a few onions they were dehydrated in large blocks in ovens and then cut into one-ounce cubes.  Issued to prevent scurvy, they were made into soup or fried.  Other recipes used in the Union army included:

  • Ashcakes – cornmeal mixed with salt and water, wrapped in cabbage leaves and cooked in ashes until firm.
  • Baked beans – Baked in a kettle placed in a hold in the ground and then covered and banked with hot coals and allowed to cook overnight – sometimes salt pork added.
  • Hardtack Pudding – hardtack pounded into a powder, mixed with water and flour if available, then kneaded into dough, rolled out like a pie crust, and filled with apples or anything available.  Finally it would be wrapped up in a cloth and boiled for an hour.
  • Hell-fire stew – Hardtack boiled in water and bacon grease.
  • Lobscouse (lob scowz) – stew of pieces of meat, vegetables, and hardtack.
  • Milk toast – Hardtack soaked in condensed milk (Borden had just started to can).

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers!

Today’s post is brought to you by our guest author Connie Carter, Head of the Science Reference Section.


It appears that the link to Lincoln’s proclamation in October is a link to a different July proclamation of his.

Daniel – thank you for catching that.

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                            • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                            • 8 shallots, coarsely chopped
                            • 2 leeks, white and tender green parts, coarsely chopped
                            • 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and coarsely chopped
                            • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and coarsely chopped
                            • 1 teaspoon tightly packed saffron
                            • 3 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped
                            • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
                            • 2 pounds non-oily white fish bones and heads
                            • 4 thyme sprigs
                            • 4 parsley sprigs
                            • 2 bay leaves
                            • Salt and freshly ground pepper
                            • 1 baking potato (8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
                            • 2 large egg yolks
                            • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
                            • 1/2 roasted red pepper
                            • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon harissa
                            • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                            • Salt
                            • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
                            • 2 garlic cloves, minced
                            • 1 leek, white and tender green parts, finely diced
                            • 1/2 medium fennel bulb, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
                            • 1 baking potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
                            • 1 large tomato&mdashpeeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
                            • 12 littleneck clams, scrubbed and rinsed
                            • 16 mussels, debearded
                            • 8 large shrimp (1/2 pound), shelled and deveined
                            • 1 1/2 pounds snapper or monkfish fillets, cut into 2-inch chunks
                            • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
                            • 3 tablespoons chopped basil
                            • 8 thin slices of baguette, brushed with olive oil and toasted
                            • Lemon wedges, for serving

                            In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots, leeks, fennel and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the saffron and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the fish bones and heads, 3 quarts of water, the thyme, parsley and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat for 45 minutes.

                            Strain the broth and discard the solids. Return the broth to the pot and boil over high heat until it is reduced to 6 cups, about 20 minutes. Season the broth with salt and pepper.

                            In a small saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook the potato until tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a food processor. With the machine on, add the egg yolks, chopped garlic, red pepper and harissa and process to a puree. With the machine on, add the olive oil and process very briefly until it's just incorporated. Scrape the rouille into a bowl and season with salt. Cover and refrigerate.

                            In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, leek and fennel and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the potato and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Add the clams and cook over moderate heat until they start to open. Add the mussels, shrimp and fish and simmer until all of the seafood is just cooked, about 4 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and basil season with salt and pepper.

                            Spread the baguette toasts with some of the rouille. Spoon the bouillabaisse into 4 large, shallow bowls and serve with the toasts and lemon wedges. Pass the remaining rouille at the table.


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