Recipes for Old School Cooking

Remember the fabulous ’50s? From traditional Sunday dinners with the whole family gathered around the table to Saturday night bridge games with friends and finger food, “made from scratch” was always on the menu. Here are the extra recipes we promised that go along with those found in the October/November issue.

Broccoli Polonaise

Many grandmothers served vegetables polonaise-style, which means topped with a mixture of butter, bread crumbs, parsley, and hard-cooked egg. You also can serve this topping over steamed asparagus or cauliflower.

1  pound fresh broccoli spears or 1 package (16 ounces) frozen broccoli spears
1  tablespoon butter or margarine
1⁄3   cup seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
2   tablespoons minced parsley
1⁄2   teaspoon grated lemon rind
1⁄8   teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
1  hard-cooked large egg, finely chopped

1. In a large saucepan, bring 1⁄2 inch of water to a boil over high heat. Add the fresh broccoli. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. (Or, cook the frozen broccoli according to package directions.) Drain and arrange the broccoli on a platter.

2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the butter over moderate heat until lightly browned. Stir in the bread crumbs, parsley, lemon rind, ground red pepper, and hard-cooked egg. Spoon over the cooked broccoli.

Makes 4 servings.
Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cooking Time: 13 minutes

1 Serving: Calories 110. Total Fat 5 g. Saturated Fat 2 g.
Protein 6 g. Carbohydrate 12 g. Fiber 4 g.
Sodium 147 mg. Cholesterol 61 mg.

Ladies’ Luncheon Cream Cheese-Date Sandwiches

Old-time cookbooks often did not give specific recipes for sandwich fillings. They just listed ingredients and expected cooks to know how to put them together. One favorite combination was cream cheese mixed with dates or raisins and nuts.

4 ounces Neufchâtel cream cheese, at room temperature
1⁄2 cup chopped pitted dates
1⁄4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1⁄4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
8 thin slices cinnamon-raisin or raisin bread

1. In a small bowl, stir together the Neufchâtel cream cheese, dates, and mayonnaise until well mixed. Stir in the pecans.

2. Trim the crusts from the bread. Using small cookie cutters (or hors d’oeuvre cutters), cut bread into desired shapes.

3. Spread the Neufchâtel cheese mixture on half of the bread shapes. Top with the matching remaining bread shapes and decorate with cream cheese, raspberries, fresh mint, or other toppings as desired.

Makes about 16 sandwiches.
Prep Time: 20 minutes

1 Sandwich: Calories 89. Total Fat 4 g. Saturated Fat 1 g.
Protein 2 g. Carbohydrate 12 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 97 mg. Cholesterol 6 mg.

Ladies’ Luncheon Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Prepare as for Ladies’ Luncheon Cream Cheese-Date Sandwiches, substituting 1⁄2 cup reduced-fat peanut butter for the Neufchâtel cheese.

1 Sandwich: Calories 119. Total Fat 6 g. Saturated Fat 1 g.
Protein 3 g. Carbohydrate 15 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 103 mg. Cholesterol 1 mg.

Giblet Gravy

Rinse the turkey neck and giblets. Refrigerate the liver. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining giblets, neck, and 4 cups water. Add 1 medium-size yellow onion, cut into wedges; 1 large carrot, cut into chunks; 2 sprigs parsley; 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; and 1⁄4 teaspoon white or black pepper. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Add liver. Continue cooking for 20 minutes more or until tender. Strain broth, reserving 11⁄3 cups. Reserve giblets and neck; discard vegetables. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from neck; discard neck bones. Finely chop the neck meat and giblets; set aside.

In a Dutch oven, whisk together reserved pan drippings, 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated skimmed milk, 1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour, 1⁄4 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon white or black pepper. Cook over moderate heat until bubbly. Add the reserved broth. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken. Cook and whisk for 2 minutes more or until thickened. Stir in neck meat and giblets; heat through.

Makes 3 cups.

1⁄4 Cup: Calories 77. Total Fat 2 g. Saturated Fat 1 g.
Protein 7 g. Carbohydrate 6 g. Fiber 0 g.
Sodium 147 mg. Cholesterol 102 mg.

Best-Ever Shortcake

“Grandma Lola used eggs, butter, cream, and milk from her farm. Her shortcake biscuits were very rich and tender and she always topped them with fresh picked strawberries,” recalls Jeanette Davidson. For birthdays and other special occasions, you can bake this shortcake in heart-shaped pans-there’s enough to serve 16.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2⁄3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2⁄3 cup butter or margarine
1 cup low-fat (1% milk fat) milk
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
6 cups fresh or frozen and thawed, sliced, strawberries or sliced, peeled, peaches
1⁄4 cup sugar

For the whipped cream topping:
2 cups heavy cream
1⁄4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1⁄2 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly grease 2 heart-shaped cake pans or two 8-inch round cake pans.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, the 2⁄3 cup sugar, and the baking powder. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, combine the milk, egg whites, and egg. Add to the flour mixture all at once and stir just until mixture is moistened.

3. Spread dough evenly into the prepared pans. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes or just until toothpicks inserted in centers come out clean (do not overbake). Place pans upright on wire racks for 10 minutes. Using narrow metal spatula, loosen sides of cake layers from pans.

4. Meanwhile, toss the fruit with 1⁄4 cup sugar, then let stand to form juice. To prepare the whipped cream topping, in a large chilled bowl, combine the heavy cream, 1⁄4 cup sugar, the vanilla, and almond extract. With a rotary beater or chilled beaters and an electric mixer on Medium, beat until soft peaks form.

5. To assemble the shortcake, place 1 warm cake layer on a serving plate. Top with half of the fruit mixture. Top with the second warm cake layer, right side up. Top with remaining fruit mixture. Serve with the whipped cream topping.

Makes 16 servings.
Prep Time: 25 minutes  Cooking Time: 14 minutes

1 Serving with Topping: Calories 343. Total Fat 20 g.
Saturated Fat 12 g. Protein 5 g. Carbohydrate 38 g.
Fiber 2 g. Sodium 201 mg. Cholesterol 76 mg.

Frosted Shortcake

Prepare as for Best-Ever Shortcake, decreasing from 6 cups to 2 cups sliced strawberries or peaches and omitting the 1⁄4 cup sugar tossed with the fruit. Also, omit the whipped cream topping and prepare an icing as follows. In a large bowl, stir together 1 box (16 ounces) confectioners sugar, sifted (41⁄2 cups); 1⁄4 cup low-fat (1% milkfat) milk; and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until icing is thin enough to drizzle. To assemble the shortcake, cool the cakes completely. Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate. Drizzle the layer with half of the icing; top with the fruit. Top with the second cake layer, right side up. Drizzle with the remaining icing.

1 Serving with Icing: Calories 318. Total Fat 9 g.
Saturated Fat 5 g. Protein 4 g. Carbohydrate 57 g.
Fiber 1 g. Sodium 192 mg. Cholesterol 35 mg.

Eat-It-By-the-Handful Popcorn and Nut Mix

This honeyed snack tastes a lot like old-fashioned popcorn balls, but is much easier to make.

10 cups air-popped popcorn
1 cup lightly salted dry-roasted mixed nuts
1⁄4 cup honey
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon or nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place popcorn and mixed nuts in a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking pan.

2. In a small saucepan, stir together the honey, orange juice, butter, orange rind, and cinnamon until well mixed. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Drizzle the honey mixture over the popcorn and nuts. Using a wooden spoon, toss until well mixed. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice.

3. Spread popcorn mixture onto a large sheet of foil. Cool completely. To store, place in a tightly covered container.

Makes 7 cups.
Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cooking Time: 18 minutes

1 Cup: Calories 228. Total Fat 14 g. Saturated Fat 4 g.
Protein 5 g. Carbohydrate 24 g. Fiber 4 g.
Sodium 166 mg. Cholesterol 9 mg.

Orange Eggnog Punch

This traditional holiday beverage gets fresh sparkle and flavor from the addition of ginger ale and orange juice.

1 quart reduced-fat dairy eggnog or 1 can (1 quart) eggnog
1 can (12 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 can (12 ounces) ginger ale, chilled

1. In a pitcher, stir eggnog and orange juice concentrate until well mixed.

2. Pour in ginger ale and stir gently.

Makes eight 7-ounce servings.
Prep Time: 5 minutes

1 Serving: Calories 177. Total Fat 4 g. Saturated Fat 2 g.
Protein 7 g. Carbohydrate 28 g. Fiber 0 g.
Sodium 82 mg. Cholesterol 97 mg.

Favourite Oatmeal Cookies

Grandma dropped her cookie dough from a spoon, but a small ice cream scoop can make the job go quicker and easier.

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, at room temperature
1⁄4 cup low-fat (1% milkfat) milk
2 large egg whites
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups old-fashioned (5 minutes) or quick-cooking (1 minute) rolled oats

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on Medium, cream the sugar and butter until light yellow and fluffy, scraping side of bowl often. Add the milk, egg whites, eggs, and vanilla, beating well. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture just until flour disappears. Stir in the oats.

2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove cookies and cool on wire racks.

Makes about 42.
Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cooking Time: 32 minutes

1 Cookie: Calories 125. Total Fat 5 g. Saturated Fat 3 g.
Protein 2 g. Carbohydrate 18 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 93 mg. Cholesterol 22 mg.

Raisin ‘n’ Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

Prepare as for Favorite Oatmeal Cookies, adding 11⁄2 cups raisins or 1 package (8 ounces) chopped pitted dates and 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts with the oats. Makes about 48 cookies.

1 Cookie: Calories 141. Total Fat 6 g. Saturated Fat 3 g.
Protein 2 g. Carbohydrate 21 g. Fiber 1 g.
Sodium 82 mg. Cholesterol 19 mg.

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