Cookbook Lady’s Spanish Rice

Recently I published a post titled Behold! The Power of Cheese that featured recipes from the October 1926 issue of THE FARMER’S WIFE — A MAGAZINE FOR FARM WOMEN. The article was promoting the use of cheese for its flavor, versatility and nutritional value. A recipe called Cheese-Tomato Rice, which uses cheese as a garnish, reminded me of my Spanish Rice recipe because of the similar ingredients. It is interesting how much more flavor we like in our food compared to what was acceptable one hundred years ago. Whenever I serve this dish to company or at a potluck, I get a request for the recipe so I thought I would share it here. It is a great side dish for most any Mexican or Tex-Mex entree, just be sure to garnish with plenty of cheese. Enjoy!

~Elaine

Cookbook Lady's Spanish Rice

  • Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 1–2 bell peppers, any color, diced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 cups long-grain rice, rinsed (not cooked)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
  • S&P to taste
  • Shredded Mexican Blend cheese for garnish

Directions

In a large Dutch-oven, over medium heat, saute jalapeno, bell peppers and onion in oil until onion is translucent. Stir in cumin oregano, coriander and garlic powder. Add rinsed rice to the spice and vegetable mixture and saute for two minutes.

Add canned tomatoes, chicken stock, salt and sugar; bring mixture to a simmer. Cover tightly, place Dutch-oven in oven and bake at 350* for 16 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring halfway through cooking time.

Remove from oven and allow rice to stand for five minutes. Toss in chopped cilantro, drained black beans and season to taste. Garnish with plenty of cheese.

Recipe Compliments of cookbooklady.com

Behold! The Power of Cheese

The American Dairy Council’s slogan from the late nineties — “Behold! The Power of Cheese” — would have been the perfect title for the one-hundred-year old Farmer’s Wife article below. Home cooks from the 1920s were well aware of the ability of cheese to elevate any meal through both flavor and nutrition. During WW I, just a few years prior to this issue’s publication, the U.S. government promoted using cheese as a meat substitute on the home front so that beef could be made available to feed the US troops. By then American cheddar cheese was readily available even in rural areas and a good value for money. So common was cheddar, in fact, that it was referred to rather casually in old recipes and cookbooks as “cheese”, “American” cheese (not meaning the processed cheese of today), “store” cheese, “dairy” cheese or “yellow” cheese. Softer cheeses were available as well, with cream cheese being wildly popular during the 20s and 30s. Dairy women frequently made their own cottage cheese (recipe below) and often served it as part of a salad with fruits and/or vegetables. (It was not until reading the article below that I heard of garnishing cottage cheese with conserves or marmalade). For special occasions, such cheeses as Camembert, Roquefort, Edam and Swiss would have been available, but were a luxury most rural folk could ill afford.

I hope you enjoy reading “Cheese Is Choice”

Elaine
Dutch or Cottage Cheese
MRS. ALLEN’S COOK BOOK 1917

Cheese Is Choice — It Should Be Used As A Staple Food

By Edith M. Barber

Cheese for “trimming” other less savory foods and for making leftovers go farther is indeed a boon to the cook. How often it helps answer that ever-present question “What shall we have for supper?” Sometimes it serves to flavor a white sauce to pour over hard-cooked eggs on toast or to cover raw eggs in a baking dish which is set in the oven until the eggs are firm. Sometimes cheese sauce is used with vegetables such a cauliflower or cabbage, which are then covered with crumbs and baked until brown. Escalloped vegetable with cheese has a certain “body” which makes it satisfying as a main luncheon or supper dish.

A dish of fresh cottage cheese on the table will supplement the summer vegetables and fruits which we like to use lavishly in their season. It occasionally may be varied by mixing with cut chives or chopped onions, or surrounded with preserves or garnished with jelly.

The fancy cheeses which have more distinct and individual flavors lend themselves to occasional use but for every day, the plain American or cottage cheeses are the most satisfactory. Cottage cheese in its own form can be digested easily by children, as well as by the older members of the family, but the richer cheeses which contain more fat should always be diluted for the children and often for the rest of the family. Mixed with other blander foods such as white sauces, vegetables and rice or macaroni, cheese should appear often on the table.

Toasted Cheese with Bacon

Slice bread one-half inch thick and cover with thin slices of cheese. Sprinkle with salt and paprika and lay two slices of bacon on each piece. Place in dripping pan and bake in hot oven (400 degrees F.) until bacon is crisp and cheese is melted. If you have a use for hard bread crumbs, the crusts may be removed from the bread, dried and ground.

Stuffed Tomatoes with Cheese

  • 6 tomatoes
  • 3 c. bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. chopped onion
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Cheese

Remove the pulp from tomatoes and mix with crumbs. Cook onion in butter one minute and mix with crumbs and seasonings. Stuff tomatoes and bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) ten minutes. Remove from oven and cover with slices of cheese. Return to oven until cheese is melted and serve at once. This same recipe may be used for peppers.

Corn and Cheese Souffle

  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Paprika
  • 1 c. milk
  • 1 ½ c. canned corn
  • ½ c. grated cheese
  • 3 eggs

Melt butter and blend with flour. Add milk and seasoning and cook until smooth and thick. Mix egg yolks, cheese and corn and add to sauce. Fold in beaten whites and bake in greased dish in pan of hot water in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) about twenty minutes until set. One-half cup chopped ham may be used instead of corn.

Quick Supper Dish

  • ½ lb. soft cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. mustard
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • 1 c. milk or more

Cut or break cheese into large greased pie pan. Break eggs on top and sprinkle with mixed seasoning. Add milk to cover cheese and mix all together with fork. Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) about fifteen minutes until cheese is melted and mixture is set.

Cheese-Tomato Rice

  • 4 c. boiled rice
  • 1 small can tomatoes
  • Salt
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp. bacon fat
  • Pepper
  • ¼ lb. cheese

Cook onion in bacon fat one minute and add to rice, mixing lightly with fork. Add tomatoes, season to taste and place in greased baking dish. Cut cheese in thin slices and place on top. Bake on hot oven (450 degrees F.) until cheese is melted.

Pinwheel Cheese Biscuit

  • 3 c. flour
  • 5 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp. fat
  • ¾ – 1 cup milk
  • 1 c. grated cheese
  • Paprika

Sift together flour, salt and baking powder, rub in fat and add enough milk to make dough soft enough to roll. Roll into oblong one half inch thick and sprinkle with cheeses and paprika. Roll like jelly roll and cut into inch pieces. Place close together in pie pan with cut side up. Bake in hot oven (450 degrees F.) about fifteen minutes until brown.

Grape Conserve

  • 4 qts. grapes
  • 6 oranges
  • 3 lbs. raisins
  • 1 lb. nuts (not peanuts)

Pulp the grapes, cook until soft, put through colander and add skins, oranges and raisins. To every cup of mixture add a cup of sugar and cook to desired consistency. The nuts are added just before removing from fire.

Grapefruit Marmalade

  • 2 grapefruit
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • Sugar
  • Water

Slice fruit very thin, removing seeds but not rind. It is easier to slice on a board. Fruit may be put through food chopper if preferred; this saves time but the product is not so perfect. To each pound of fruit, add three pints of water. Place in an enamel bowl and let stand for twenty-four hours. To each pound, add one pound of sugar and cook slowly until thick and clear. Test by chilling a little on a saucer. Do no overcook. Pour into sterilized glasses or jars, and seal.

The above article was originally published in The Farmer’s Wife — A Magazine For Farm Women, October 1926, Page492; by Webb Publishing Company, St. Paul, Minnesota

Cheese Apple Pie – 1939

September in America is apple picking time. Orchards in New England burst with McIntosh, Cortland, Granny Smith and Winesap, while orchards in the northwest hail Honeycrisp, Ambrosia, Cosmic Crisp and Envy apples. And vintage American cookbooks provide a plethora of apple pie recipes. Most recipes follow a classic formula — sliced apples tossed in sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and some type of thickener — flour, cornstarch or tapioca, baked until the apples are tender and the pastry is golden brown — just the way grandma used to make them. I discovered one recipe in my collection that called for a not-so-secret ingredient — cheddar cheese. As it turns out, home cooks have been serving apple pie a la cheese for years (Read more HERE).

Modern Meal Maker Revised Edition by Martha Meade
Copyright 1939
General Mills, Inc.

Modern Meal Maker 1939, a cookbook and menu planner, suggests serving Cheese Apple Pie for dessert during the first week in October. A typical apple pie except for one unusual ingredient — a half cup of grated cheddar. I have heard of serving apple pie with a slice of melted cheddar on top, but I have always been skeptical. Like my husband said when I showed him this recipe, “it sounds like a good way to ruin a perfectly good apple pie”. Not being one to shy away from a new (or old) recipe, I decided to give it a whirl anyway.

Menu Plan
Modern Meal Maker Revised Edition by Martha Meade
Copyright 1939
General Mills, Inc

Using my favorite butter/oil pastry recipe, I followed the filling instructions to a T. Wanting the pie to approximate one baked in the 1930s or 40s, I chose a classic apple variety — Granny Smith. After tossing the sliced apples in the flour, sugar and spices, I filled the pastry, sprinkled the grated sharp cheddar over the apples and baked as directed. When I pulled the apple pie out of the oven, it was beautiful!

Cheese Apple Pie
Modern Meal Maker Revised Edition by Martha Meade
Copyright 1939
General Mills, Inc.

After allowing the pie to cool, I eagerly cut a slice. As I lifted the first piece from the pie plate, lovely juices began to ooze. Sadly, on top of the juices floated a glistening pool of yellow oil that had rendered from the cheese during baking. The cheese itself had become grainy and stuck in clumps to the underside of the top pastry. Not very attractive. Overall the pie was bland. It could have used more cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar and cheese for that matter, as there was no cheddar-y goodness. We even tried jazzing the pie up with ice cream — no luck. I actually threw the rest of the pie away. This recipe can definitely go back to hiding between the pages of an old cookbook.

Quiche in America

“It seems odd that this very special pie, traditional in France, was so long in gaining popularity in America.” ~Craig Claiborne, The New York Times Cook Book 1961

The savory French quiche, made up of eggs and cream baked in a pastry shell has been around for centuries. The Germans have had zwiebelkuchen, their beloved bacon and onion pie for generations. And the Italians have created egg-based fritatas with varieties of meats, vegetables and cheeses for hundreds of years. Even the British serve up cheese and onion pie. Indeed, America has been slow to catch on to savory custard pies.

quiche_003[1]Armed with a stack of twentieth-century cookbooks, I began exploring the evolution of quiche in America. I found quiche-like recipes with generic-sounding names scattered through various sections of the cookbooks. For example, the earliest quiche-like recipe that I found,  had the unassuming name of Cheese Custard Pie printed in The Joy of Cooking 1931 cookbook, located in the “Eggs…Luncheon and Supper Dishes” section. A simple recipe —  it calls for three fourths cup hot scalded top milk (meaning the cream that has risen to the top of un-homogonized milk) in which a cup of grated cheese is melted. Two eggs are then whisked into the cheesy mixture, along with some salt and cayenne pepper. The filling is poured into a 9″ pastry shell, dusted with paprika and baked at 325* for 45 minutes and  is to be served “very hot”.

quiche_002[1]
Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook 1959

In a cookbook published nearly thirty years later, I discovered a recipe similar to quiche printed in Farm Journal’s 1959 Country Cookbook in the “Milk and Cheese” section — simply called Cheese Pie. The recipe includes shredded Swiss cheese, minced onion, eggs and heavy cream baked in an 8 inch pastry shell at 400* for ten minutes, then reduced to 300* for 40 minutes. It is to be served as an entree.

 

 

With GIs returning home after World War II and establishing homes and families, mid-

quiche_001[1]
Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 1953

century America was a time of optimism and increasing prosperity. Entertaining in the home was in vogue, and housewives hosted bridge parties, cocktail parties, and dinner parties, creating an interest in appetizer and hors d’oeuvre recipes. The American Everyday Cookbook 1955 lists Savory Tartlets in the “Appetizers” section. These quiche-like tarts are baked in “half-dollar-size tart pans” lined with pastry and filled with eggs, cream and bacon, and seasoned with salt, pepper and dry mustard.

In the trendsetting, The New York Times Cook Book 1961, the term “quiche” finally appears. Printed in the “Appetizer” section, the cookbook presents recipes for three different types of quiche, prefaced with an explanation of sorts:

“A rich custard with cheese and bacon, it may be served either as an appetizer or a main luncheon dish.”~Craig Claiborne, New York Times Cook Book 1961

The popular Quiche Lorraine,  named for the Lorraine region of France (formerly of Germany), includes salt-pork or bacon for flavor. In The Times’ cookbook, the recipe for Quiche Lorraine calls for eggs, cream, bacon and cheese, suggesting cubed Swiss or Gruyere and Parmesan. Thinly slice onion sauteed in a little bacon fat is included, with salt, pepper and nutmeg for seasoning. The Crabmeat Quiche recipe calls for fresh or canned crabmeat, with celery, onion and parsley to be  combined with the eggs and cream. Bay Scallops Quiche calls for 3/4 pound bay scallops, sauteed onion and celery with the eggs and cream to be seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Each quiche is baked in a nine-inch pastry shell.

food photography of sliced bacon on top of brown chopping board

In the “Cheese” section of The Good Housekeeping Cookbook 1963, the recipe for Quiche Lorraine calls for twelve slices of bacon (Yum!) and grated Swiss cheese, suggesting that it be served as a luncheon or dinner main dish, or cut into thin slices and served as  “Nibbler” Lorraine.  Quiche Louisiane (not to be mistaken for Quiche Lorraine) omits the bacon and substitutes one cup shelled cooked shrimp tossed with two tablespoons of chili sauce and a dash of Tabasco. A Quiche Manhattan recipe substitutes the bacon for 1 cup cubed ham, Canadian bacon, chopped cooked beef tongue or two tablespoons snipped anchovy fillets. Finally, Good Housekeeping’s Switzerland Cheese-And-Onion Pie is a nod to Germany’s traditional bacon and onion pie and is to be served for “lunch, supper or an evening snack”.

In Mary Meade’s Modern Homemaker Cookbook 1966 in the “Eggs Cheese and Luncheon Dishes” section of the book, I found another recipe for Cheese-and-Onion Pie. Said to be:

“A close relative of the popular Quiche Lorraine, this delicacy makes an excellent luncheon dish”. ~Ruth Ellen Church, Mary Meade’s Modern Homemaker Cookbook 1966

So similar, Quiche Lorraine and Cheese-and-Onion Pie could be twin sisters, with both pies calling for cooked, crumbled bacon, eggs, milk or cream and cheese, seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg. The only difference  between the two is the amount of onion called for in each recipe (the Cheese and Onion Pie calls for two full cups of sliced sauteed onions). Ham and Egg Pie covertly placed in the “Meat” section of Mary Meade’s Modern Homemaker Cookbook 1966, presents a cheese-less quiche-like pie made with minced ham to be sliced thin and served as an appetizer.

My Simply Gourmet 1978 cookbook  features a recipe for Spinach Quiche in theIMG_5337 “Vegetables” section. Sometimes called Quiche Florentine — it has become a classic. Two pounds of fresh spinach, blanched, chopped and sauteed with minced scallions in butter is added to the basic egg and cream mixture. A little Gruyere with salt, pepper and nutmeg round out the ingredients. The quiche is baked in a ten-inch pastry-lined dish and served warm.

In spite of its slow start, by the 1970s Americans had fully embraced quiche, creating recipes with a plethora of ingredients from mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes, bell peppers, broccoli, green beans, zucchini and potatoes along with distinct cheeses including goat cheese and feta.

mothers day
Mother’s Day Brunch

Not only did quiche come to light during the twentieth-century, but the concept of brunch became fashionable in America as well. A blend of the words  breakfast and lunch —  brunch has become a light mid-morning to early-afternoon meal associated with the gathering of friends and family, such as  Sunday brunch. Holidays including Easter and Mother’s Day are celebrated over brunch as well, often featuring quiche.

IMG_5376 (2)
Jarlsberg Quiche

My Mother’s Day Brunch menu consists of crust-less Jarlsberg Quiche (Jarlsberg is a mild Swiss-like cheese produced in Norway, but is readily available in America), a variety of muffins served along with fruit and yogurt parfaits. Its been our family tradition for years. I have also used this menu when hosting bridal and baby showers. And it works well as a new-mommy meal. Enjoy!

 

Jarlsberg Quiche

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1-1/4 cup 4% cottage cheese
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs

  • 1/2 lb Jarlsberg cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350* (325* for a glass pan). Lightly spray a 9 inch deep-dish pie plate with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; stir in flour until smooth. Whisk in milk and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook and stir for two minutes or until mixture is thick; set white sauce aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine cottage cheese, baking powder, dry mustard and salt in a small bowl; set aside.
  4. In large bowl, blend cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing with each addition (mixture will be lumpy). Stir in cottage cheese mixture and cooled white sauce.
  5. Fold in shredded Jarlsberg cheese and Parmesan.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared pie dish and bake for 35 — 40 minutes or until a knife inserted halfway between the edge and center of the quiche comes out clean (OR test the center of the quiche with a thermometer for a  desired temperature of 170*).
  7. Allow quiche to set for 15 minutes before serving.

Option: Several strips of bacon can be cooked crisp, crumbled and folded into the quiche mixture with the shredded cheese. Cooked finely diced ham may also be added.

Note: Quiche can be prepared a day in advance. Bake as directed and cool completely. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature or reheat in the oven before serving.

Recipe Compliments of cookbooklady.com