By Cheryl Radkiewicz
Within the past two weeks, I’ve received notices that two of my favorite cooking magazines have ceased publication….Fine Cooking and Rachael Ray. This is just a small part of our “changing times”.
When I was growing up, my mother used to subscribe to McCall’s Magazine. I was always awaiting the Betsy McCall cut -outs with new outfits each month. For younger readers, I’m sure you have no idea what I’m referring to.
Anyway, moving on to the early 1970’s, McCall’s started publishing McCall’s Cooking School. This was one of my first experiences in tackling some new recipes. Eventhough I made my first “from scratch” eclair in Fourth Grade, I was always challenged to make new and exciting recipes.
As I still have these magazines treasured in my home, I am paying homage to cooking magazines, past and present, with some recipes that I cooked, and still do, from McCall’s.
Chicken Breasts Tarragon:
4 whole chicken breasts (about 1 lb.) each
2 Tbsp. salad or olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
6 shallots, chopped
2 pared carrots, sliced into ¼” rounds
¼ cup Cognac or brandy
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup chopped fresh tarragon or 2 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup light cream
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. flour
½ lb. mushrooms, washed and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
Sprigs of tarragon for garnish
Bone chicken breasts; wash and dry. (Or buy them already boneless). Remove skin; cut breast in half. In 6 quart Dutch oven, heat oil and 2 Tbsp. butter. Add chicken breasts, half at a time, enough to cover bottom of pan; saute’, turning on all sides, until brown. Remove chicken as it browns. Brown rest of chicken.
To drippings in Dutch oven, add shallot and carrot; saute, stirring 5 minutes or until golden. Return chicken to Dutch oven; heat. When hot, add Cognac or brandy, white wine, chopped tarragon, salt and pepper. Bring to boiling, reduce heat and simmer gently, covered, 30 minutes. Remove chicken to heated serving platter; keep warm. Strain drippings in Dutch oven, return to Dutch oven. In small bowl combine cream, egg yolk and flour; mix well with wire whisk. Stir in drippings in Dutch oven; bring just to boiling, stirring. Add more wine if sauce seems too thick. Meanwhile, saute’ mushrooms in hot butter 5 minutes, until tender. Spoon sauce over chicken. Garnish with tarragon and mushrooms. Serves 8.
1 lb. leeks
½ cup chopped onions
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 lb. potatoes, (3 medium), pared, cut into ½” cubes (2 cups)
½ tsp. salt
Dash white pepper
2 cans (13 ¾ oz. size) clear chicken broth
2 cups milk
1 cup light cream, chilled
½ cup snipped chives
Trim leeks; cut off roots and tips and most of the dark green, leaving some of the light green. Wash leeks thoroughly and drain. Slice leeks crosswise, about ¼” thick. You should have about 2 cups of leek slices. Have chopped onion ready; combine with leeks. Melt butter in 5 quart Dutch oven. Saute’ leeks and onions over medium heat until they are soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally with wooden spoon. Be careful that leeks and onions DO NOT brown; if they do, soup, which should be creamy white, will be discolored.
Add potatoes, salt, pepper and chicken broth to leek mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered 45 minutes, or until potatoes are soft, almost mushy. This is important to insure that the soup will be smooth. Remove from heat.
Put potato-leek mixture into blender container, 2 cups at a time, and blend, at low speed, until mixture is smoothy. Puree’ should measure about 5 cups. In small saucepan, heat milk until bubbles form around edge of pan. Remove saucepan from heat. Add hot milk to potato-leek mixture; mix well with whisk. Refrigerate, covered 6 hours or overnight. Before serving, gradually add light cream; mix well. Pour into 8 chilled soup cups. Top with chives.
Note: Traditionally, this is served very well chilled, however, it may also be served hot. Can sprinkle with nutmeg, if desired.
Gazpacho Gelatin Salad:
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1 ½ cups V-8 juice (cocktail vegetable juice)
½ cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. oil
¼ tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup diced cucumber
½ cup diced green pepper
½ cup diced onion
Sprinkle gelatin over juice; heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is dissolved. Combine with next 5 ingredients; chill until slightly thickened. Fold in remaining ingredients. Fold in remaining ingredients. Turn into 4-cup mold. Chill until set.
1 cup unsifted all-purpose flour
¼ cup salad oil
2 eggs, 2 yolks
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. coarsely shredded orange peel
1/3 cup orange juice
1 cup orange sections
¼ cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
Butter or margarine
¾ cup unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau
¼ cup grated orange peel
¼ cup brandy
For Crepe Batter: In medium bowl, combine flour, oil, eggs, egg yolks and ½ cup milk; beat with rotary beaters until smooth. Add rest of milk, beating until blended and smooth. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 hours or overnight.
For Orange Sauce: In medium skillet, melt ¼ cup butter. Stir in 1/3 cup sugar, shredded orange peel and juice; cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until peel is translucent–10 minutes. Add oranges and ¼ cup Grand Marnier or Cointreau.
For Crepes: Slowly heat a 7″ skillet until a drop of water sizzles and rolls off. For each crepe, brush skillet lightly with butter. Pour in 2 Tbsp. batter, rotating pan to cover bottom of skillet evenly. Cook until lightly browned. Turn; brown slightly. Cool on rack; stack with waxed paper between.
For Orange Butter: In small bowl with electric mixer, cream butter with sugar until fluffy. Blend in Grand Marnier and orange peel. Use to spread on crepes, about 1 Tbsp. for each one.
Fold crepes in half, then half again. Arrange in pattern in orange sauce in chafing dish or skillet; cook over low heat just until sauce is hot and crepes are heated through. Note: Crepes and sauce may be made ahead and refrigerated separately.
To serve flaming: Bring crepes to tale right in chafing dish or skillet. Gently heat brandy in small saucepan just until vapor rises, no longer. Ignite with match and pour flaming brandy over heated crepes. Serve with sauce. Serves 6-8.
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
4 cups milk
1 1/3 cups sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 cup fresh strawberry puree (½ pint strawberries)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
In small, heavy saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over ½ cup milk; let stand 5 minutes to soften. In medium bowl, combine remaining milk, sugar, salt and strawberry puree. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat, stirring constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat; slowly stir into mixture in bowl. Turn into 9×9″ square pan. Freeze until frozen 1″ from edge. Turn into chilled bowl; with electric mixer, beat mixture quickly until smooth, but not melted. Return to pan. Freeze several hours or until sherbet is firm. Makes 8 servings.
Note: To make strawberry puree’: Wash and hull fresh strawberries; Turn into blender; blend for one minute.