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Place your Political Bets on the Table: Primary Palates
This primary season, celebrate your favored Republican candidate for 2012 with a dish from their home state. Red Rock Press is proud to provide several recipes to satisfy palates during the primaries, from Texas Caviar to Pennsylvania Corn Fritters.
From Iowa to New Hampshire and South Carolina to Nevada, celebrate your favored Republican candidate for 2012 during this political primary season with a dish from their home state. Red Rock Press is proud to provide several recipes to satisfy palates during the primaries. The recipes come from three-time James Beard winner Judith Choate and her amazing work, “A Reader’s Cookbook” in honor of this important holiday. Although the Republican primary sweep has narrowed the field, it’s still not too late to celebrate your candidate with a regional recipe.
Those still in the race come from a distinct and unique collection of states, each with its own local flavors, traditions, and classic cuisine. For example, Newt Gingrich hails from Pennsylvania, famous for its corn fritters. Ron Paul hails from Texas, where Black-Eyed Peas (Texas Caviar) are still a favorite. Mitt Romney, though originally from Michigan, is the former governor of Massachusetts and a longtime resident of the Northeast, where classics like Boston Baked Beans and New England Chicken Pot Pie remain favorites for staying warm throughout the winter. The recipes for all of these dishes can be found below.
“A Reader’s Cookbook” has recipes to match any author from around the world, covering 17+ regions, including the high seas and utopia/dystopia. Interested readers should check out http://www.redrockpress.com/
Pennsylvania Dutch Corn Fritters with Maple-Mustard Sauce (Newt Gingrich)
Serves 8 to 10
The ever thrifty Pennsylvania Dutch make these wonderful fritters that can be used as a snack, a side dish or, if you eliminate the scallions and cayenne, as breakfast pancakes served with warm maple syrup any time of day. Note, though, that the mustard-maple sauce I suggest is a tangy topping, better for spicy fritters than sweeter pancakes.
10 ears fresh corn, shucked (or 5 cups thawed frozen corn kernels)
4 large eggs, separated
½ cup finely chopped scallion greens
1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
1 cup vegetable oil
Maple Mustard Sauce (recipe follows)
Using a serrated knife, carefully scrape the kernels from the ears of corn. Using the back of the knife, scrape any remaining pulp from each ear and combine it with the kernels.
Place the egg whites in a mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until stiff peaks form.
Stir the scallion greens, flour, sugar, salt, and cayenne into the corn mixture. When blended, stir in the egg yolks. When combined, fold in the beaten egg whites until just barely blended.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When very hot, but not smoking, drop the corn batter into the oil by the heaping tablespoon.
Fry, turning once, for about 5 minutes or until the fritters are crisp and golden brown. Do not squish the batter down; you want the fritters to be light and airy.
Using a slotted spoon, lift the fritters from the hot oil and place on a double layer of paper towels to drain. Continue making fritters until all of the batter has been fried.
Serve warm or at room temperature with Maple-Mustard Sauce for dipping.
1 cup Dijon mustard
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Combine the mustard, syrup, and lemon juice in a small bowl and whisk to blend well. Store covered and refrigerated, until ready to use or for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Boston Baked Beans (Mitt Romney)
Serves 8 to 12
As soon as the first hint of chill is in the air, New England cooks bring out the bean pot and begin the winter’s ritual of baked beans for supper (and for breakfast and lunch, hot or cold). Traditional baked beans don’t have the addition of meat, but I think it adds the substance needed to turn the dish into a main course if that is what you seek. Sausage—all types—also makes a nice addition. If using sausage, it should be added about an hour before the beans are done to allow the sausages to cook thoroughly.
4 cups dried navy beans
¾ cup pure maple syrup
½ cup molasses
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large onion, peeled and cut into wedges
½ pound salt pork, cut into cubes
1 pound smoked ham, cut into cubes
Rinse the beans under cold running water. Place in a large saucepan with cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Set aside to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Drain the beans well. Again cover with cold water to cover by 2 inches. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, adding water as necessary to keep the beans well-hydrated, for about 90 minutes or until just tender.
Remove from the heat and drain well, reserving the cooking liquid.
Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
Generously grease a large (about 4 quart) casserole.
Place the beans in the prepared casserole. Add the maple syrup, molasses, mustard, tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste, stirring to combine. Add enough of the reserved cooking liquid to make a very soupy mixture. (The beans will absorb a lot of liquid as they bake.) Reserve any remaining liquid for later additions to the baking beans, if necessary. If you do not have sufficient cooking liquid left to make a soupy mixture, you can use boiling water or hot chicken broth.
Nestle the onion wedges and salt pork cubes into the beans. Cover and place in the preheated oven.
Bake, uncovering and tasting, and adding liquid as necessary from time to time, for about 4 hours or until the beans are soft and the gravy is thick and rich.
About 30 minutes before the beans are ready, nestle the ham cubes into them. Recover and finish baking.
Serve hot or warm.
Texas Caviar (Ron Paul)
Serves 8 to 10
Texas caviar isn’t caviar at all—just humble black-eyed peas all dressed up. It was invented by Helen Corbitt, who made her fame in the kitchens of the deluxe Dallas store, NeimanMarcus. It is said that once she found that Texans didn’t much cotton to the real thing, but everyone seemed to love black-eyed peas, she invented this salad to be used as a dip with tortilla chips at cocktail parties. If you find yourself short of time, you can use well-drained canned black-eyed peas in place of the cooked dried ones.
1 pound dried black-eyed peas
1 large ripe tomato, peeled, cored, seeded, and diced
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
1 green chili, seeded and minced or to taste
1 cup chopped green olives
¾ cup olive or canola oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the black-eyed peas under cold running water. Place in a large saucepan with cold water to cover by at least 2 inches. Set aside to soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Drain the peas well. Again cover with cold water to cover by 2 inches. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, adding water as necessary to keep the beans well-hydrated, for about 90 minutes or until just tender.
Remove the peas from the stove and drain well.
Transfer the drained peas to a mixing bowl. Add the tomato, red onion, chili, and olives while still warm, stirring to combine. Stir in the oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and let marinate for at least one hour before serving with a basket of tortillas chips for dipping.