JULY 2021 CHALLENGE: Vintage American recipes!

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Tonight's entry is Biscuit-pizza sliders, and Tacitus. The sliders were made with Pillsbury buttery Grands, divided into halves, like mini burger buns. These were filled with provolone and cheddar, cut to fit, followed by 2 slices pepperoni, and a quarter slice tomato I dressed them with EVOO, basil, and oregano. Baked in oven for ten minutes. The crew loved them.

The taquitos were made by steaming corn tortillas until soft enough to roll, and filled with bulk, pork breakfast sausage, seasoned with Sriracha, and Franks Red Hot. A spoonful of meat was rolled, together with a stick of aged, white cheddar, cut to fit. A little oil was drizzled on top before popping into the oven 20210708_173133.jpg . These came out nice and crispy, and surprisingly well flavored, for making with breakfast sausage. Here's pictures -
 

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So this here is a homemade version of "Tuna Helper," a total vintage dish. I made a roux of sorts with evaporated milk and homemade chicken broth. Lots of fines herb and thyme, mirepoix, broccoli and canned tuna. Waaayyyyy better than the box, and much healthier! I don't even want to know how much sodium is in the box. It still remains a guilty pleasure though. :)

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Stewed Chicken.

I struggle with what to call this (or even declare it a valid "American classic") because it is a bit of a mash-up between Southern Chicken Stew and Chicken Cacciatore (the version I know from New England). You decide... all I can say is that it was really yummy!

Starts with chicken thighs, pan roasted (but not necessarily thoroughly cooked)
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Next some onion, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté and then reduce some white wine (drink some too!)

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... and garden-fresh tomato that was de-skinned and de-seeded along with some herbs (thyme from the garden and bay leaf from a jar)

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Stew, stew, stew until it all "melts together"...

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Serve (fingerling potatoes, but rice would have been good too) and eat.

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CAPITOLA-STYLE SOURDOUGH BREAD

"Vintage"... what is the definition of "vintage????

I first became acquainted with what is now known as "artisanal bread" from a bakery in Capitola California. That was in the early 1980's. I hereby declare the 20th century as legitimately within the definition of "vintage"!

The sourdough starter that I maintain is, I'd guess, 20 years old. I can't really recall... but it's probably that old per recollection. Normally it says in the refrigerator and for this bake it was revived for 4 consecutive days at 100% hydration. This bread is in the style (okay... a direct copy is what I planned) of the sourdough sandwich bread that Joe Ortiz and Gayle's Bakery has been making since about 1978.

The dough, mixed and in first rise

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Formed and ready for panning

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Glazed, slashed, and into the oven. Photo taken after a few minutes of heat... that's oven spring not over-fermented dough. :)

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... and the final product

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TOMATO AND MAYONNAISE SANDWICH.

With sincere apologies to Planethoff, who represented the most classic of vintage American Sandwiches earlier in the challenge... submitted for your consideration is this vintage American summer treat!

Summary:
  • Capitola-style Sourdough Sandwich bread, sliced thick and toasted (not quite "Texas toast because I wanted to fully comply with the "American" criteria)
  • Best Foods Mayonnaise (also known as Hellman's East of the Mississippi)
  • Black Brandywine tomato picked this morning from the garden
  • Sprinkle of Maldon salt and hickory-smoked pepper
  • Garnished with Mt. Olive Bead and Butter pickles
I'm sure the sandwich would have been just as good with Duke's or an alternative mayo but...

Please excuse the introduction of Malden salt. As all probably know, it is a UK product. But here's the link between Maldon and America (from Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maldon):

In the church of All Saints is a memorial window to George Washington, whose great-great grandfather, Lawrence Washington, is buried here. Unveiled by an American diplomat on 5 July 1928, the window displays Saint Nicholas with the Mayflower, Saint George, and Saint Joan of Arc in the centre. At the top are the arms of the Washington family, and the arms of the USA, England, Scotland and Wales. At the bottom are depictions of George Washington, the landing of the Mayflower, the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Statue of Liberty.

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Not shown: The smile on my face as I ate lunch. :)
 
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GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH.

Another day and another lunch, thus another sandwich. Today the American classic grilled cheese. Every culture probably has something similar but in the US that I grew up in it is white bread, American cheese, pan grilled, and often eaten with tomato soup.

My version (a slightly "grown-up" grilled cheese sandwich)
  • Capitola sourdough sandwich bread (still eating it and there may be enough for one more sandwich entry!)
  • Two cheeses: provolone and cheddar (2:1)
  • Buttered bread - just the outside (ever so slightly... just enough to barely fill the pores lest the sandwich get greasy)
  • Dijon mustard (we generally have 4 different mustards but this is all I could find in the refrigerator today)
Note: the mustard is , indeed, a product of France. If this is a disqualifier, c'est la vie. :)


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They say that there is nothing more American than Apple Pie. Well apples came from Europe. Blueberries, on the other hand, are truly American, and have been made into pies since colonial times.

Though I didn't have the right tools, or even a pie plate, I had the lard, the flour, salt, blueberries Etc. T%his is definitely not my prettiest pie. I;m calling it - Chief's Ugly, but Tasty Blueberry Pie. Here's what i made today:

Crust: 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups lard

Modified blueberry pie filling

Ingredients:

¾ cup sugar
½ cup AP flour
5 cups fresh blueberries
1tbsp lemon juice
1tablespoon cold butter

Other ingredients:
1 large egg
3 tbs. milk

You know the drill. Ice cold lard, in a cold bowl with unbleached AP flour. Cut in the lard to form pea gravel texture. Sprinkle ice water over the dough. Divide into two equal portions. Flour a suitable working surface. Form 1/2 of the pie dough into a disk; and place on work surface. Flour the top, and roll into a 1/4 inch thick disk. Gently transfer to your pie pan. CILL REMAINING DOUGH, AND BOTTOM CRUST. combine filing ingredients, folding together so that sugar, and flour coat all of the berries.

Roll out top crust. Preheat oven to450'. Fill bottom crust with filling. Place top crust gently on top, or cut to weave a lattice crust. Flute the edges, brush with egg wash, and bake for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 40 minutes more. Remove from oven and let cool for 3 hours.

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STEAK DINNER.

Not a fancy steakhouse restaurant, but Friday night supper at home.
  • Manhattan
  • Heirloom tomato salad (red wine vinaigrette, fermented garlic, and chives)
  • New York Strip steak (seasoned with herbs, salt, pepper, and cooked on the outdoor grill)
  • Pan-roasted shishito peppers
  • "Baked beans" - I'm completely embarrassed to admit that they are from a can
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I got a good one: carrot cake!
Carrots, walnuts, currants, spices and a cream cheese frosting. Didn't get a shot of the inside because we all dug right in. I did make it this month, half with the challenge in mind, and, well, the other half with my dad I mind.

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Last night I sous vide a 1" thick ribeye @ 129f for an hour then finished on hot wood coals. It's the perfect way to do a piece of meat like this justice. I had a cooked ear of corn leftover, some hash browns, red and jalapeno pepper for a nice sauteed side medley.

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That bone is my lunch tomorrow -
 
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Finally getting around to post this, made it a week or so back. Classic American South dinner - fried chicken, greens and cornbread.

The Players

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The Process

For the buttermilk fried chicken, the chicken thighs went into a bowl, salt and pepper, covered with the buttermilk, then into the fridge overnight.

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Next day, drained on a rack. Then the usual seasoned flour double dredge, let set for a while to get the coating a chance to set up a bit.

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Going old school for this fry, Crisco in a cast iron skillet.



About 325F for maybe 8 - 10 minutes per side.

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Should have done a "fork don't lie" video a la Chef John.

Meanwhile the collard greens are underway. First off make a hock stock.

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The hock, onion and garlic simmered for about an hour. The broth strained out, the hock gets pulled apart, picking out the meat. Greens get washed, cut up, into a pot and wilted in oil for a bit. Pork is added, and a good splash of the hock stock. Simmered, low heat, covered for a while.

The cornbread batter is prepped, with the grated cheddar and diced jalapeno stirred in.

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Into a cast iron skillet, into the oven until done.

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The Product

Buttermilk fried chicken, collard greens with smoked ham hock, jalapeno cheddar cornbread.

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Classic American dinner. Some good eating fer shure!

mjb.
 
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I'm going to try...
I wouldn't really know what vintage American is, I hope this qualifies

My Webers, the Smoky Mountain 37 cm and the hillbilly version of the kettle 47 cm
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Rotisserie chicken. I would normally go for an Asian marinade, but for this challenge decided on something American. I went looking in Steven Raichlen's barbecue sauces, rubs and marinades and went for the "lone star rub" as that was about the only one without sugar.
I kept the salt seperate and I used both black and white pepper. The rub consisted of black and white pepper, paprika powder, cayenne powder, garlic flakes, thyme, oregano and cumin.
I rubbed the chicken a couple hours before cooking
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I used a little mopane wood together with lump charcoal for a smoky flavour and a drip pan with onions
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End result with homemade pickled cucumber and toasted bread
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Any kid growing up in the United States who has ever eaten at the school cafeteria has eaten this in one form or another in their young life.

The Players

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Well, the kids probably didn't get a Rocket Red cayenne pepper out of my garden in their version. And on the lower right that's what Winco calls boneless beef short ribs. Basically chunks of beef chuck.

The Process

First off, grind the beef, after it has been cubed and chilled in the freezer for about half an hour.

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It's just a little over a pound, so going with the food processor rather than getting out the big grinder.

And since I got it out the trusty old Cuisinart, might as well use it for the onion as well.

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Get out the blue pot. Render a couple slices of salt pork to get a bit of good fat. Then the beef and the onion goes in.

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When beef is cooked, no more pink, in goes the tomato products, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and about two cups of beef broth ( hot water and Better than Bullion ).

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Let that simmer over low heat for about half an hour.

Then the macaroni goes in.

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Pot is getting kind of full. I may get a couple bigger sizes of these enameled cast iron dutch ovens, they are such nice pots.

Once the pasta is fully cooked, had to add a splash of water to get it done, give it a good stir, one last taste for seasoning, and then turn off the heat, cover, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

The Product

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You know, it doesn't really look that impressive. But trust me, classic American comfort food. I ate three bowls. Should have stopped at two, the last bowl moved it close to a bloated belly and discomfort food. But it is so good!

This was a pretty basic, no frills recipe. Many versions include bell pepper, cheese, sour cream and such. I like to make a version I call pizza mac, which uses Italian sausage, add in black olives and sauteed mushrooms and use pizza sauce for the tomato base, top with mozzarella. Crustless pizza.

I've seen versions where it is finished as a casserole in the oven. There are at least as many versions of American Goulash as there are grandmothers.

Good stuff.

mjb.
 
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