Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Culinary Ephemera & Some Old Recipes


I want to start talking about this Weblogs purpose, as I promised in the preamble some time ago.

Eventually I will start discussing fermented foods "in extenso". For now, I want to make mention of culinary ephemera. And I try to collect as many unique recipes for each type of item as possible. In an attempt to isolate perhaps the original way of making the dish, as well as the best way. Or best ways, if possible. To my mind, Chile Con Carne has multiple best ways. Cheesecake does not.

No standard has crossed my mind for how to define the term ephemera, in a food and foodways context. So, dear reader, please bear with me.

Quickly comes to mind:

Chile Con Carne
Ceviche (or maybe spelled Sebiche)
The Egg Cream (perhaps this one is too precious to be ephemeral, maybe it's a 'knock-down; drag-out fight of an idea)

Ephemeral? I hear you say. By that I mean that there is more than just recipes and arguments about these items.

For instance, John Thorne, author of OUTLAW COOK and other food writings, put out a pamphlet, now out of print, about Chile Con Carne. His last page has the "myth" of chile. Very amusing.

As long as I'm on the topic about chile. A word, if I may, about the spelling. The Spanish word has, strangely enough, only one spelling. That being CHILE. The English spelling varies. Varies by author, and country. Some cookbook authors, use CHILI. Others CHILLI. Other CHILE. As this is one of maybe two words in the English language with variant spellings. The other I've forgotten, but when I remember it, I will put it up here and the truth of it will be apparent. Mexican Spanish, much more flexible in it's orthography than English, is invariable in the use of CHILE, but quite changeable when it comes to them as varieties. Jalapeno or Xalapeno. And in the state of Jalapa, where the chile originates, it's called a Cuaresma (Easter). Go figure. A fellow food weblogger (I can't say BLOG or BLOGGER), Paul Hinrichs (Playing With My Food), uses CHILE.

Epicurious.com uses chili and returns, as of 3/1/04, 734 uses of CHILI, only 416 returns when spelled CHILE. But, enough spelling conventions.

What arguments have been produced by cheesecake:
New York Style,
Lindy's Style.
With or without fruit, or chocolate chips.
Swirled or plain.

The gazpacho catagory:
In water or light broth
with tomatoes or without
with ice cubes or not

Bayonne Ham and Scampi
Omelette Style

For 4 people :

20 large scampi
(8 to 10 per kg)
300 g of piperade (scrambled eggs, blended with basquaise sauce)
200 g of fried diced Jambon de Bayonne
50 g of butter, dill
2 dl of fish soup, and butter

Cook the scampi in a non-stick pan with butter until they are browned
but not fully cooked.
Put 5 scampi on a bed of hot piperade in a bowl
Put the Jambon de Bayonne with the scampi, surround with piperade,
and add a the fish soup filtered and whipped with a little butter.
Decorate with a few sprigs of dill.

Sauce Basquaise

Ingrédients :

1 spoonful of goose fat
1 onion, 1 clove of garlic
Chopped parsley
8 eggs
Oil, sugar, salt
1 kilo of sweet peppers
1 kilo of tomatoes
1 chilli pepper
4 slices of Jambon de Bayonne

Peel and deseed the sweet peppers, cut them into strips, then fry them
in two soupspoons of olive oil along with the chopped onion, garlic,
peeled and deseeded tomatoes, and the chilli pepper cut into rings.
Add a pinch of sugar.

Cook slowly until the liquid has completely evaporated.

Beat eight eggs into an omelette mixture and salt lightly.

Fry four slices of Jambon de Bayonne for two minutes in goose fat,
keep warm and pour the cooking fat over the vegetables.

Add the eggs to the mixture of tomatoes and peppers, away from the

Scramble the whole mixture, which should be creamy, then cook over a
low flame for three minutes.

unfinished, but published for all the world to see 03/01/04

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