Monthly Archive for February, 2010

Snapshot: Wild Game at Henry’s End

The Mixed Game Grill at Henry’s End: Elk chop, venison sausage, and the wild boar belly is buried in back, under some sort of pomegranate chutney.

Last weekend, the Boyf took me out for a belated Valentines.  We ate some animals at the Wild Game Festival at Henry’s End Restaurant in Brooklyn.  I had the Mixed Game Grill, pictured above, which included herb crusted elk chops; venison sausage; and wild boar belly.  I found the first two to be a little heavy on the seasoning; if I’m going to eat exotic animals, I want to taste their flesh!  The herb crust on the elk was overpowering, but after I scraped it off, I found the meat to be tender, juicy and flavorful.  The venison sausage was tasty, but tasted like herbs, not venison.  The boar belly had the purest flavor, and was well prepared.

The boyf had ostrich, pictured right, with coos coos.

Cocktail Hour: The Irish Rose

This beverage is another one  from my recent Pre-Prohibition birthday party.  Don’t be fooled by it’s cherry-pop color; the Irish Rose is a manly dose of whiskey perfectly co-mingled with a swig of grenadine.  We really don’t drink enough grenadine these days.

This has become my favorite beverage for my four-o’clock Judge Judy cocktail break.  I think it will become yours, too.

The Irish Rose
From The Ideal Bartender by Tom Bullock, 1917.

1 oz. Grenadine
1.5 oz. Whiskey

Fill a glass with ice; a rocks glass or a tumbler will do.  Add grenadine and whiskey.  Fill glass with seltzer.  Stir until condensation appears on the outside of the glass and the contents are thoroughly mixed.  Serve and enjoy.

Events: Timeline of Taste at Trade School

On Sunday, I taught a class at Trade School; it was a brief (but edible) overview of the last 200 years of America’s favorite flavors.  These photos were taken by my friend Ilana, and I think her description of the class sums it up best:

We feasted on treats from several time periods, “A Rich Cake” by Amelia Simmons from 1796 was by far my favorite. Dense and full of “stuff”, it was AWESOME. Not to mention from a 1796 recipe to boot……

Speaking of the Trade School, however, holy moly what an amazing place. As per their website:

“Take a class every night with a range of specialized teachers in exchange for basic items and services. Secure a spot in a Trade School class by meeting one of the teacher’s barter needs.”

So the classes are essentially free. Sarah’s class cost me two dozen eggs. Can’t be beat for such a wonderful range of classes in such a cozy space.

**Note on the above pics, unfortunately I was so engrossed in the class that I completely forgot about my camera till we got to the last recipe – a jokey take on Charlotte Russe, a popular 19th c. street food (ed. note: actually early 20th century street food, but a popular dessert in different forms since the 18th century). We made ours with store bought lady fingers, whipped cream from a can and maraschino cherries……yum? A take on 1950’s convienence food.

Assembling Charlotte Russe.

This Charlotte Russe is a little bit sad–the Reddi Whip was warm, so it melted pretty fast.

On the left, “A Rich Cake” and on the right a currant cake from the 1840s.

One of my students brought me this lovely bottle of port as barter for my class.  She included a recipe for port wine fudge from her home state of California.  So nice!

Trade School is only around until the end of the month, so sign up for a class here.  And if you missed this event, never fear!  Pancakes Aplenty is on March 7th at Old Stone House.

Menus: Washington’s B-day at Niblo’s Saloon, Broadway

Eaten on this day in 1851 at Niblo’s Saloon.  I think my favorite dishes are the Chicken Sallad and the Beef Tongues, both served in “gelee”; the Pigeons and the Widgeons; and (no party is a party without) Charlotte Russe.  I don’t know which would have been my favorite ornamental piece; probably the Fruits of Industry.

Retronovated Recipes: Braised Turtle

I’ve been doing some research on turtle meat for my upcoming Edible Queens article and I wanted to share a great recipe that won’t make it to print.  The reason?  The article is due out in June, and this slow braised, spicy dish is perfect for winter.  The taste of the tender meat will envelop you like a warm hug.

My inspiration was the first printed American recipe for turtle from Amelia Simmon’s American Cookery.   I actually used veal to test this recipe, and I think it would be equally good with a cut of beef or lamb.  This dish is so easy and delicious, you should serve up some turtle meat surprise at your next Sunday dinner.

Braised Turtle
Inspired by “How to Dress a Turtle,” from American Cookery by Amelia Simmons, 1796

1 lb fresh or frozen turtle, beef, or lamb.

2 c. beef stock
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp mace
½ tsp each dried thyme, marjoram, parsley and savory; mixed.
½ cup Madeira wine or sherry
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Rinse meat and pat dry; cut into one inch cubes.  In a bowl, toss turtle meat with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg and mace.

3. Add meat to a baking dish or dutch oven.  Sprinkle with herb mixture.  Pour in Madeira or sherry and beef stock. Cover, and bake for two hours.

Cocktail Hour: A Toast to the Presidents!

Simon Ford of adovocates the celebration of President’s Day with Classic Cocktails:

“Franklin Roosevelt guzzled Martinis, Richard Nixon drank Cuba Libres (you have to love the irony) and Gerald Ford enjoyed the odd Gin & Tonic. Woodrow Wilson, president during the enactment of Prohibition, stashed away supplies so that he could mix his favorite libations in secret while the rest of the nation settled for bathtub gin and moonshine.

I think it’s fair to say that the proper way to celebrate Presidents’ Day (and the long weekend) is with cocktails. Here are a couple of historic drinks to get you started. Cheers!”

Read the full article here, and mix up a few classic cocktails appropriate to the Presidents.

A Preview of Things to Come

Cocktail Hour: Apple Toddy

February is the coldest month in New York City.  Although I know that the spring thaw is just around the corner, the bitter wind that whips off the East River makes me die a little bit inside. Every day.

To keep the frigid weather at bay, I’ve been investigating winter cocktails.  Nothing beats the wintertime blues like hot water and alcohol.  I’ve been eyeing up this cocktail for awhile: the Apple Toddy.  It comes from my favorite cocktail book, the first cocktail book, Jerry Thomas’ How to Mix Drinks.

For my version of this recipe, I used delicate, little Lady Apples, which I found in my local grocery store.  Feel free to use a large baking apple, cut into slices.  Apple Brandy can be found at most liquor stores or ordered online.  Laird’s has been making apple jack and apple brandy in America since 1780.

Oh that’s good.  I feel warmer already.

Apple Toddy
Inspired by a recipe from How to Mix Drinks, by Jerry Thomas 1862.

Baking Apples: three small apples or one large
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/8 tsp mace (or cinnamon, if you prefer)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Unsalted butter
2 ounces apple brandy
Hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Core apples and place in a baking dish.  Mix sugar and spices.  Fill the center of the apples with sugar mixture and sprinkle the remainder around the edges.

2. Bake apples for 30 minutes, or until tender.

3. Scoop one apple (or apple slice) into the bottom of a rocks glass or mug.  The bottom of the baking dish should be filled with sugar syrup; add one tablespoon of this syrup to your glass.

4. Add two ounces apple brandy, then fill glass to the top with hot water. Stir gently until the sugar syrup has dissolved.

5. Grate a little nutmeg on top and serve.


Events: Save the Dates for Cakes, Pancakes, and Beer.

Want a mouth full of history? Then mark your calender for these free events!

Sunday, February 21st
A Timeline of Taste: A Brief Overview of the Last 200 Years
4:30pm – 5:30pm
At Trade School
139 Norfolk Street, New York, NY
Free for barter.

I’m offering an hour-long class through Trade School.

Our idea of what “tastes good” is constantly changing. In this class, we will take a look at the constant flux of America’s culinary preferences, from the publication of the first American cookbook in 1796 to the swell of convenience food in the 1940s and 50s. To inspire our discussion, we will be sampling four different cakes from four different eras, and will make one of these desserts in the class. And with your help, we’ll bring our exploration to the present day with a selection of contemporary dishes.

Trade School offers these classes through a barter system; when you sign up, you can choose to bring a small item to trade for the class. There are a limited number of seats available, so reserve yours today! Sign up here.

Sunday, March 7th
Pancakes a Plenty!
11am – 1pm
At Old Stone House
336 3rd Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Brought to you by the New York 19th Century Society.

Old Stone House lights up its hearth for a spring pancake celebration, featuring culinary creations by historic gastronomist Sarah Lohman. Pancakes a Plenty! presents three historic pancake recipes sure to please the modern palate: Pumpkin Cornmeal; Apple and Sour Milk; and Clove and Rosewater.

Pulled from the pages of 18th and 19th century New England cookbooks, these recipes have the flavor of New York life from another era. Prepared over an open fire, the pancakes will be served with all the fixins’ as well as hot drinks.

We’ll keep serving pancakes until the pancakes run out. So stop by and sample some slapjacks

Saturday, April 10th
The Boston 19th C. Pub Crawl
Starting at 5:30pm
Meet at Eastern Standard
528 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA
Free, but drinks are additional.

We’re taking the 19th Century Pub Crawl on the road to Boston! The evening will start at Eastern Standard, a contemporary bar that “…Breathe(s) life into forgotten cocktails of the past as well as conjuring up new classics.” They’ll be featuring several cocktails for the Crawl, including their house special the “19th Century,” and offering a selection of house-made hors d’oeuvres. From there, we’ll crawl to Boston’s oldest pubs, some stretching back to the 17th century! Our proposed route (subject to change) can be found here.

Saturday, May 15th
The New York 19th C. Pub Crawl
Starting at 6pm
Meet at Madame X
New York, NY
Free, but drinks are additional.

In the wake of last fall’s amazing New York 19th C. Crawl, we’re planning a whole new route! This spring, visit some of New York’s oldest taverns and most notorious dens of vice on 10th Ave. Formerly along Manhattan’s western waterfront, these inns served sailors drinks, drafts and entertainment. Our proposed route (subject to change) can be found here.

History Dish Mondays: Turtle Soup

Photo by Everett Bogue

Yesterday, I cooked up a batch of a popular 19th century summertime treat, Turtle Soup.  It went over surprisingly well with my friends!  But you’ll have to wait to read more about it: I was testing my turtle recipe for an upcoming article in Edible Queens magazine.  The Summer 2010 issue will feature this dish and many more.