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Saveur Cooks Authentic American


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Recipe Source:

Saveur Cooks Authentic American:
Celebrating the Recipes and Diverse
Traditions of Our Rich Heritage
by the Editors of Saveur Magazine,
1998, Chronicle Books


Saveur - One Year Subscription 

A cookbook that celebrates and explores "the splendid array of local cuisines and deep-rooted culinary traditions that flourish across the United States..."

We have been singing the praises of Saveur for some years now.  Since 1994, as
a matter of fact.  Surely the fact that we still have the back issues speaks for our admiration of this excellent publication, especially considering the fact that they were not discarded prior to our last transatlantic move.  Some things are worth keeping!  We were delighted when Saveur decided to expand into the cookbook arena.  These books do not disappoint.  They are precisely what we have come to expect from what Saveur refers to as "our country's ultimate food magazine".
Saveur Cooks Authentic American contains more than 150 recipes, diverse, and mouth-wateringly delicious.  Recipes from the simple to the sublime, from down-home to sophisticated.  From Gus's Fried Chicken to Pork Loin Stuffed with
Apples.  From Apple Brown Betty and Pumpkin Pie to White Peaches Poached
in Sauternes and Poached Quinces in Pastry.  And they have managed to include
an amazing variety of ethnicity.  What could be more American than that?  [MG]

From the Introduction...

"We are all immigrants here, or the children of immigrants - even those 'native' Americans whose ancestors walked down from Siberia. And as each generation
of newcomers to this country discovered in its turn, if our streets weren't exactly paved with gold, they were certainly lined with food shops...
"...The American cornucopia, after all, spilling over with bursting-ripe fruit and bright vegetables beneath a smiling sun, has long been a symbol of our nation's richness. Everything grew here, or could be raised or fished or hunted...
"The culinary calumny about America used to be that, while we had the raw materials, we didn't know what to do with them. American food was bland, overcooked, underseasoned; it was canned or frozen; it was hamburgers. The
truth, of course, is that our cuisine, like the abundance of foodstuffs that go
into it, is immensely varied - cornucopian - and is often, calumny notwith-
standing, some of the best in the world.
"The truth is that Americans can be wonderful cooks - energetic, imaginative,
and solidly grounded in sound technique. Because we have inherited a plural-
ity of processes, tastes, and traditions, we are not slaves to any one of them; the
stylistic tyrannies of many Asian and European cuisines were left behind along
with harsher, more literal tyrannies. As a result, we have become great culinary
tinkerers, happily inventing and redefining dishes..."

All I can say to that is a resounding, "Amen!"  And here's the proof:


Holiday Dinner

Pumpkin Soup with Sage
Warm Chanterelle and Pancetta Salad
Goose with Chestnut Stuffing and Port Sauce
Red Cabbage
Golden Fruitcake


Pumpkin Soup with Sage

Serves 6

“Putting pumpkins in pie, however traditional (and satisfying) that
may be, isn’t the only good thing to do with them – as this autumnal
soup deliciously demonstrates. Look for small, sweet pumpkins like
the jack-be-little or delicata – or substitute butternut squash.”

1 small pie pumpkin, about 5 lbs.
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, peeled
and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4-6 cups chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil
18 fresh sage leaves
9 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Quarter and seed pumpkin, rub flesh
with olive oil, and bake on a baking sheet until tender, about 30 minutes.
Set aside and allow to cool.
2. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are soft, about
15 minutes. Meanwhile, scrape flesh from pumpkin. Add to onions and
garlic and cook for another 5 minutes.
3. Add 4 cups stock to pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Purée the soup in
a food processor until smooth, then return it to the pot. If necessary, thin
with additional stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover
soup and keep warm over lowest heat.
4. Meanwhile, heat about 1 cup vegetable oil in a small pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, fry sage leaves until crisp. Drain leaves on paper towels. Discard oil or reserve for another use.
5. In the same pan, melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter over medium heat and
cook shallots until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. To serve, ladle
soup into individual bowls and garnish each serving with 3 shallot halves
and 3 fried sage leaves.


Warm Chanterelle and Pancetta Salad

Serves 4

“In California’s Napa Valley wine country, Chris Willis and Jill Harrison
make their Olio D’Oro – oil blended from California-grown Spanish,
Italian, and French olives – the ancient way: with a granite crusher
imported from Tuscany. Then they use it for salads like this.”

1/4 pound pancetta, diced
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1/2 pound chanterelles, trimmed
and quartered
1/4 cup pine nuts
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 large handfuls of mixed greens
(such as frisée, arugula, or red oak
or bibb lettuce)
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook pancetta in a medium sauté pan over low heat until crisp, about
20 minutes. Drain on paper towels, then transfer to a large bowl. Pour
off fat from pan (a thin film will remain). Increase heat to medium, add
shallots to pan, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Increase heat to high; add chanterelles and pine nuts and sauté until
both are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to bowl
with pancetta.
3. In the same pan, warm oil over medium heat, then whisk in lemon
juice and vinegar and heat through, scraping up the flavorful
browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
4. Add mixed greens to bowl with pancetta, chanterelles, and shallots.
Add the warm vinaigrette and toss salad well. Divide between 4 plates
and season to taste with pepper.

NOTE: Storing Olive Oil – Olive oil can easily turn rancid, so store it away
from light and heat. (Don’t keep it near the stove or by a window.) On the
other hand, oil will turn cloudy and can spoil if kept in the refrigerator.
Our best advice: Buy olive oil in small amounts and use it up quickly.


Goose with Chestnut Stuffing and Port Sauce

Serves 6

“American geese have changed: Gone are the fatty, greasy, hard-to-digest
honkers of yesteryear. Geese still have prickly personalities, but they are
being bred friendlier – skinnier, meatier, but no less flavorful.”

One 10-pound fresh or fully thawed frozen goose
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Stuffing:
3 tablespoons butter
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 stalks celery, sliced
10 mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
2 cups roasted chestnuts, peeled and chopped
5 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup
chicken stock

For Sauce:
Goose neck and giblets, minus liver
4 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 sprigs fresh parsley
5 black peppercorns
1 cup ruby Port
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Wash, drain, and dry goose with paper towels, then rub, inside and out, with salt and pepper.
2. For stuffing, melt 2 tbsp. butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook
onions and garlic until soft, about 15 minutes. Add celery and cook 5
minutes more, then transfer to a bowl. Melt remaining 1 tbsp. butter in
the same pan, add mushrooms and thyme, and cook 7-8 minutes more.
Combine mushrooms with onion mixture, then add chestnuts, bread
crumbs, egg, and stock, and mix well. Set stuffing aside.
3. For sauce, put neck, giblets, celery, garlic, onions, parsley, peppercorns, and 6 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat,
reduce heat to low, skim off foam, and simmer for 2 hours. Strain,
reserving stock and giblets. Discard remaining solids. Peel and finely
chop giblets and set aside.
4. While stock cooks, loosely pack body and neck cavity of goose with stuffing. Tie legs closed with kitchen string. Prick legs and thighs with
a fork. Roast on a rack in a roasting pan for 1/2 hour. Lower heat to
325 degrees F. and cook for 1 1/2-2 hours more or until thigh juices
run clear. Transfer goose to a platter and allow to rest for 15 minutes,
then remove stuffing and carve.
5. While goose rests, put roasting pan with drippings on top of stove (use
2 burners if necessary) over medium heat. Skim and discard fat from
juices. Add port and deglaze, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan.
Add giblets and stock and reduce liquid by half, about 15 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sauce with goose
and stuffing.


Red Cabbage

Serves 6

"R. W. Apple Jr., chief correspondent of the New York Times, celebrates his
family’s Pennsylvania Dutch roots with a Thanksgiving feast that includes
this cabbage dish ) from a recipe by his friend food critic Egon Ronay)."

1/4 pound smoked slab bacon, diced
1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large head red cabbage, cored and shredded
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 1/4 cups dry white wine
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1. Fry bacon in a large skillet over low heat, turning often, until crisp and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Increase heat to medium-low, add the onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 15-20 minutes.
2. Add cabbage and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, then add caraway seeds, bay leaf, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper
and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium,
add wine, honey, and vinegar and simmer until cabbage is soft and
cooking liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour. (Add a little water if liquid evaporates too quickly and cabbage begins to stick to skillet.)
3. Remove skillet from heat, transfer cabbage to a bowl, and allow to
cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight for flavors to blend. To serve,
warm over low heat, adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and vinegar.


Golden Fruitcake

Makes 2 cakes

“Fruitcake doesn’t have to be dark, dense, heavy, and aged for a year or more
down in the cellar or under somebody’s bed. Some interpretations, like this
one, inspired by the sweet golden bounty of California orchards, are light
in texture and color, and best eaten young.”

1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
3/4 cup candied lemon peel, minced
3/4 cup candied orange peel, minced
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried apricots, minced
1 cup dried peaches, minced
1 apple, peeled, cored, and grated
1 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
teaspoon ground mace
1 tablespoon ground ginger
teaspoon ground cloves
teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh white bread crumbs
1 cup softened butter, plus additional for
greasing pans and aluminum foil
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1. Spread almonds in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast until
golden, about 5 minutes per side. Combine almonds, lemon peel,
orange peel, raisins, apricots, peaches, apple, and orange liqueur
in a large bowl and macerate at room temperature for 2 hours.
2. Sift flour, baking soda, mace, ginger, cloves, and salt together into
a large bowl. Stir in bread crumbs and set aside.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees [F.] Beat butter with an electric mixer
in a large bowl, gradually adding sugar and beating until mixture is
light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in sour cream,
lemon juice, and vanilla. Slowly add dry ingredients, mixing until
combined. Gently fold in macerated fruit and liqueur, then spoon
into 2 well-greased fluted 4-cup tube pans.
4. Cover pans with lids or greased aluminum foil and place in a deep
roasting pan. Add enough hot water to come one-third up sides of
pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about
1 hour and 45 minutes. Unmold cakes while warm; allow to cool
before serving. (Store, wrapped in plastic wrap, in refrigerator.)

More recipes from this cookbook:
Carter Rochelle’s Real Texas Chili
Cinnamon Raisin Bread
Country Ham with Redeye Gravy
Pumpkin Walnut Cake with Candied Oranges

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