Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Pepper-Pot, A Brief History of a Caribbean Stew

Caribbean Pepper-Pot Stew, recipe below  
As I wait out the blizzard of 2015 in greater Boston, one can't help think about warm food and warmer climates (at the right time!). Before the 1830s, masters in the British Caribbean supplied their slaves with weekly rations of salted fish and set small parcels of land aside for them to cultivate produce, fowl, goats, and pigs. What slaves did not use to supplement their rations, they sold on Sunday, the traditional market day and day off. With their earnings they purchased food staples like salt. They combined rations, what they raised, and purchased to prepare a spicy stew they called oglios, or pepper-pot. Today it’s a traditional dish throughout many parts of the Caribbean. For those who do not eat meat there are plenty of vegetarian meat substitutes one can use.

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Soup Stories and Recipes:
 http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=soup


Stew Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=stewCaribbean Foodways with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Caribbean+Foodways

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com

Monday, January 26, 2015

Eating While Poor, Stew

Tomatillo Stew, recipe below 
During the Great Depression people cooked and ate what they had. If they came across a food item on sale, a NGO like the Salvation Army or a New Deal program distributed it for free, they cooked any way they could. I came across some tomatillos priced to blow them out the produce section. I purchased them and the leveraged what I learned about cooking with them when I lived in Mexico. This wonderful recipe for  pork and tomatillo stew is perfect for cold wet snowy days the ones we are having here in New England. In place of boneless pork loin, you can use smoke turkey wings or a meatless substitute. I also prepared mine low and slow in a crock- pot. 

Tomatillo Stew

Ingredients
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups of the meat of your choice cut into 3-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup of shredded egg plant
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 chili, seeded and finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons mild chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Splash of dried oregano
2 cups vegetable bullion broth
1 cup 1/2-inch-diced carrots
1 cup of whole grain elbow macaroni pasta (or 2 large red potatoes in one inch pieces)
2 cups of very ripe fresh diced tomatoes
1 pound tomatillos—husked, rinsed and cut into 1-inch dice
Hot sauce
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Corn tortilla chips, for serving

Method
In a medium pot heat the oil. Season the meat and eggplant with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until browned on 2 sides, about 2 minutes per side. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the diced chili, garlic, chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, pasta, tomatoes and tomatillos. Transfer to a crock-pot cover and simmer on high heat for about 35 minutes. Ladle the stew into bowls, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with freshly baked buttermilk biscuits. Serves eight people.

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Friday, January 23, 2015

Cuban Food History and Soup

Enslaved women in Cuba prepared a thick soup for themselves reminiscent of cooks in West African societies. In it they put pounded corn, wild tomatoes, and boiled plantains. Nineteenth century travel accounts show us that enslaved Afro-Cubans cooked for themselves and did the cooking in the kitchens of plantations, inns, taverns, boarding houses, ships, and restaurants on the island. In 1881 North American observer James W. Steele had this to say about Cuban cuisine. “Soup is always at the Cuban dinner-table; thick stuff that must be eaten rather than taken as a liquid.” He went on to say, “The word soup, as understood elsewhere, has no application in Cuba. It is rather in the form of a mess [a sloppy preparation of food].” 

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Soup Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=soup


Caribbean Foodways and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Caribbean+Foodways

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com


Thursday, January 22, 2015

When Eating Becomes A Revolutionary Act

Sit-in demonstration (courtesy of Pinterest)
Started in 1960 in Greensboro, North Carolina, the student sit-in movement made the act of eating revolutionary. Sit-ins made eating out while black dangerous, a act of civil disobedience, and the protester subject to racially motivated violence. It seems even more significant to those in the business world because so many business relationships start over a meal. As with the movie Selma, the Butler contains scenes that can be described as part of the act of feeding the revolution. 

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Sit-in Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=sit-ins

Series Feeding the Revolution with Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?
q=Feeding+the+Revolution

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com/

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Caribbean Food History and Soup

There is no doubt that okra can be one of the most divisive vegetables. Folks love it or hate it, by the way Martin Luther King Jr. loved it. I roated a bunch last night with some Latin American seasonings coated them with olive oil in the oven at 350 for about 30 minutes. Afterwards I stored them in the freezer to make soups in the cold days and weeks to come. Here I interview Chef Gino Cook, a graduate of the Culinary School of America. We talked about the okra soup he grew up eating in Aruba. Share your okra memories we us we would to learn about them.

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Soup Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=soup


Okra Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=okra

Caribbean Foodways and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Caribbean+Foodways

Listen to The Breaking Bread Podcast: [Listen Now] http://fdopie.podomatic.com/

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

First Nation Food History and Soup

Mohawk Corn Soup, recipe below
It seemed appropriate to series of stories on soups and stews until warms up in my part of the world. Today we turn to Native American foodways and a related recipe. First nation people in north east America survived on a gastronomical trinity that included beans, corn, and squash. These three have become center of the diet of the poor around the world because they are inexpensive and nutritious. Contact with Native Americans after 1490 increased the consumption of plant foods among Europeans. The diets of Amerindians contained far more vegetables and legumes than the Europeans consumed. More often than not the first generation of Europeans who settled in the Americas came from the ranks of elites with titles but no chance of inheriting their family’s wealth. They had little to no experience as subsistence farmers and or cooks. As result they depended on Amerindians for their survival while the two groups had limited period without armed conflict. Those first couple of months on the America meant lots of fruit and vegetable dishes and little meat. 

Mohawk Corn Soup Recipe

Ingredients
4 Smoke pork chops chopped [Smoked turkey drumsticks would be a great substitute or vegetarian version might include chipotle chili or chipotle in adobo, for the smokey flavor. For Vegans tempeh is a good replacement for pork]
4 large Carrots
1 Rutabaga to taste
2 Turnips to taste
1/4 Cabbage
2 Cups corn off the cob or canned Corn
1/2 lb. Chopped venison [try a portabella mushroom marinated overnight in Brags amino acid as a vegan substitute
1 Large can kidney beans or navy beans

Method
Brown and chop meat. Chop cabbage, turnips, rutabagas and carrots to bite sizes. Pour all ingredients in soup or crock pot and cover with water. Cook slowly until vegetables are tender. Serve with corn bread

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Native American Food History and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Native+American+Foodways

Soup Stories and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=soup

Monday, January 19, 2015

MLK Day and Montgomery Foodways Part 2

Down home Montgomery, Alabama pound cake, recipes below  
Last week I started talking about Martin Luther King (MLK), Georgia Gilmore, food, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. When Montgomery authorities arrested Rosa Parks for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger, just about the entire black community of the city rallied to her aid. ED Nixon, President of the Montgomery NAACP and active member of A Phillip Randolph’s Pullman Porter’s Union, organized a meeting of the city’s black leaders. To insure solidarity among this often fragmented group, they agreed on MLK, a newcomer with impeccable credentials (Morehouse grad, PhD. from Boston University, Daddy King’s son, and a gifted orator) to serve as the president and spokesmen of the newly established Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). Women, who Nixon did not invite to the MIA organizing meeting, organized their own groups. Georgia Gilmore, who took the lead, called them the “Club from No Where.” They included black women from the south side and west side of the city who organized clubs dedicated to using their baking skills to raise money for the MIA and the success of the bus boycott. 

Sautter’s Old Fashioned Pound Cake Recipe

Ingredients
1 pound butter
1 pound sugar
1 pound shell eggs, separated
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange extract
1 pound all-purpose flour, sifted

Directions
Cream butter and beat in sugar gradually. Cream together well. Add the egg yolks bit by bit and continue beating until thoroughly blended. Add flavorings, lightly fold in flour. Beat egg whites just barely stiff, fold again and oh so gently. Pour into two loaf pans (8x4x3) lined with heavy waxed paper and buttered. Bake 1 ½ hours in moderate oven (325 degrees F).
Clementine Paddleford, Food Editor, The Baltimore Sun, February 5, 1950

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Alabama Food History and Stories: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Alabama

Feeding the Revolution Series and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Feeding+the+Revolution

Martin Luther King Jr. Food Stories and Recipes:  http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Martin+Luther+King

Film Director Ava DuVernay on Making Selma: [Listen Now 29 min 26 sec] http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/the-business/ava-duvernay-on-selma-building-a-career-her-own-way

Friday, January 16, 2015

This Weeks Best Foodways and Food History

Food Prof Fred Opie shares his favorite mp3 downloads this week that on Martin Luther King  Jr. and the Civil Rights movement through the lens of food. 
Feeding the Revolution in 1950s Montgomery Alabama: [Listen Now] http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4509998

Dick Gregory on Prison Food in 1963 Birmingham, Alabama: [Listen Now] http://americanradioworks.publicradio.org/features/sayitplain/dgregory.html

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Alabama Food History and Stories: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Alabama

Feeding the Revolution Series and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Feeding+the+Revolution

Martin Luther King Jr. Food Stories and Recipes:  http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Martin+Luther+King

Thursday, January 15, 2015

MLK Day and Montgomery Foodways Part 1

Stuffed pork chops, recipe below (photo from http://mistyyoon.com)
After Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) graduated from Morehouse, he left the South from 1948 to 1953 to attend graduate school in Pennsylvania and Boston. By age 24, MLK earned a Master’s of divinity and doctorate degree! He then married Coretta Scott and moves to Montgomery, Alabama become Pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. In Montgomery King lived just three blocks from Georgia Gilmore a renowned cook in that city. When the bus boycott started in 1955, Gilmore testified in court in support of it and her employer, the National Lunch Company where she worked as a cook, fired her. MLK encouraged Gilmore and gave her the capital necessary start a catering business and restaurant out of her home. Gilmore had both black and white customers and folks from all walks of life who came to love her fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, stuffed pork chops, stuffed peppers, and chitins with coleslaw. Anytime VIP’s came to town King would bring them to Gilmore’s restaurant and he often retreated there to a get a good and safe home cooked meal. Let me suggest these stuffed pork chop recipes to go with this story.

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Alabama Food History and Stories: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Alabama

Feeding the Revolution Series and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Feeding+the+Revolution

Martin Luther King Jr. Food Stories and Recipes:  http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Martin+Luther+King

Film Director Ava DuVernay on Making Selma: [Listen Now 29 min 26 sec] http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/the-business/ava-duvernay-on-selma-building-a-career-her-own-way

Apple Stuffed Pork Chops: http://mistyyoon.com/2010/01/15/apple-stuffed-pork-chops/


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Martin Luther King Jr. and Feeding the Revolution in Alabama

Food Store Front, Selma, Alabama 1935 (Courtesy of the Library of Congress) 
To name the typical food product of Alabama is more difficult that to name some of Alabama’s characteristic dishes. And even more typical of this State is the arrangement of foods in a single menu which, wherever served, speaks eloquently of Southern cooking as it is known in the cotton and corn State. Those who swear by our cooking, and there are some in every community, will agree with the sentiment expressed in the verse that cooking is like religion- “some’s selected an’some ain’t.” Nevertheless, I hope to be able to give directions to those who are ambitious to win the enviable reputation that Southern cooks have always had.
Food Writer Louise Glanton, The Baltimore Sun, October 19, 1930

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Alabama Food History and Stories: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Alabama

Feeding the Revolution Series and Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Feeding+the+Revolution

Martin Luther King Jr. Food Stories and Recipes:  http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Martin+Luther+King

Film Director Ava DuVernay on Making Selma: [Listen Now 29 min 26 sec] http://www.kcrw.com/news-culture/shows/the-business/ava-duvernay-on-selma-building-a-career-her-own-way