Friday, April 15, 2011

Easy Salads Still Good From 100 Years Ago

Some recipes still stand the test of time, simply because they use ingredients that are used across different time periods or because the flavor combinations are still favorable years later.

Here are such recipes, dating almost a hundred years ago. Some of the recipes from Dishes and Beverages of the Old South by Martha McCulloch-Wulliams are really dated to that time period of when it was published, 1913, such as the author going into detail of how to process every part of a hog in a hoghouse. But some, as those below, could have been printed and enjoyed today. Enjoy.
Shrimp Salad: Boil, and pick from shells - if large cut in half, otherwise leave whole. Season well with salt and pepper, then mix well with crisp celery, chopped fine with a very little onion. Heap in salad dish, cover with a good mayonnaise, and garnish with sliced hardboiled eggs, sliced lemon, sliced beets, and celery tips.
A great many recipes in the book call for a French dressing. This one uses a hardboiled yolk to emulsify it.
Creole French Dressing: Put three tablespoonfuls of olive oil in a deep, small bowl, add to it a saltspoon salt and half one of pepper - more if taste approves. Add alternately drop by drop, a teaspoonful of made mustard, and a tablespoon vinegar. When well mixed, add the yolk of a hard-boiled egg, mashed very smooth, and stir until blended. Serve with lettuce, celery, or potato salad.
Use your favorite recipe for pimento cheese for this recipe:
Pineapple Salad: Pare and core a very ripe, sweet pineapple, cut in slices crosswise, lay the slices in a bowl, with a sprinkle of sugar, half a cup rum or sherry, all the juice shed cutting up, and a grate of nutmeg. Let stand till morning [in the refrigerator]. Make rosettes of small lettuce leaves in the plates, lay a slice of pineapple on each, fill the hole in the center with pink pimento cheese. Make the cheese into a ball the size of a marble, and stick in it a tiny sprig of celery top. Put a little of the syrup from the bowl in each plate, then finish with very sharp French dressing. Make the pimento cheese by grinding fine half a can of pimento, and mixing it through two cakes of cream cheese, softening the cheese with French dressing, and seasoning to taste.
The French dressing above could be used with this recipe:
Red and White Salad: Make cups from lettuce hearts, fasten them to the plate, with a drop of melted butter, fill lightly with grape-fruit pulp, and set a tiny red beet, boiled tender, in the middle. Have a very sharp French dressing made with oil lemon juice and Tarragon vinegar. Pass with this cheese straws, or toasted cracker sprinkled lightly with Parmesan cheese.
This is an interesting recipe using bananas and celery as the main ingredients to the salad.
Banana and Celery Salad: Chill heart celery and very ripe bananas, slice thin crosswise, mingling the rounds well. Pile on lettuce leaves, and cover with French Dressing, into which finely grated cheese has been scantly stirred. This dressing with cheese is fine for tender Romaine, also for almost any sort of cooked vegetable used as salad.

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