I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s post as I want to give you a few more opinions today on the concept of “Oriental Food.” I elected not to get into the “authenticity” debate yesterday as it is in the too-hard basket for me because the concept seems to be in the in the family memory and tastebuds of every eater - which means that there are far too many opinions for my brain to analyse and synthesise.
However, I can give you a few opinions on the Oriental way of cooking from 1834-1940:-
Saute of Chicken the Oriental way.
Prepare the fillets of four chickens as in No. 401 [skin, flatten, and trim]; decorate one side of them with pieces of West Indian pickle, fancifully cut; keep the fresher side of the pickle outward; when put into the saute pan turn this decorated side downwards; garnish the under fillets in the same way; form them in semicircles, and put them in the oven a few minutes; when you have passed the fillets in the saute pan, drain them on a cloth, trim them, and dish them en miroton, with the ring of under fillets on the top; pour in the middle a white poivrade (No. 51), coloured with infusion of saffron, in which you have put a little of the liquor from the pickle; fill up the centre with West Indian pickle.
Simpson's Cookery, Improved and Modernised (1834 ) by John Simpson.
This is the true Oriental recipe for making this delicious soup. Boil a pair of fowls with care, skimming continually whilst boiling, and keeping them covered with water. When tender, take out the chicken and remove every bone from the meat; put a large lump of butter in a frying pan, and dredge the chiclien meat well with flour ; lay it in the hot pan and fry it a nice brown, and keep it hot and dry. Take a pint of the chicken water, and stir in two large spoonsful of curry powder, two spoonsful of butter and one of flour, one teaspoonful of salt and a very little cayenne. Stir this until smooth; then mix it with the broth in the pot; when well mixed, simmer five minutes; then put in the browned chicken. Boil a pint of rice very dry to serve with it.
Cookery as it should be (1856) by Mrs. Goodfellow.
Oriental Fruit Bread.
To one quart of lukewarm water add a pinch of salt and a small teacupful of olive oil. Wash and seed a pound of dates, put all or nearly all of them in the water. Grind your wheat very coarse on a Mazdaznan Mill and add enough of it to the above to make it like chicken feed. Do not have it too moist. Prepare it at night before going to bed. In the morning put in the rest of the dates and about half a pound of the seeded raisins. Work it into the consistency of gum. Do it with your hands. Use covered pans. Put a little of the dough into the pan and sprinkle with raisins. On top of this put in more dough and again raisins and so on until all of it is in the pan. Cover the pan and set in an oven of slow fire. Place a big pan on bottom of the oven, fill with water, putting the grate on it, and on this place your bread pan. Keep the lower pan always filled with water. You may bake this bread for six hours. It will be perfectly soft and exceedingly palatable. To steam it you may put it in pails and hang them in the boiler, but be careful that no water gets into your bread pails, and boil for six hours. Sometimes it is well to add a little water and work the flaxseed in. Always grind your own flaxseed, and if you want the bread to be sweet, without any aftertaste, use the whole flaxseed. This bread will answer many demands by those of organic complications as well as others. Sliced and toasted, this bread will make rich blood.
Mazdaznan Encyclopedia of Dietetics and Home Cook Book (Chicago, 1909.)
As rice is a bland food, practically lacking in flavor, any flavoring material that may be added in tis preparation or serving aids in making it more appetizing. Oriental rice, which is prepared according to the following recipe, therefore makes a very tasty dish and one that may be used in place of vegetable for lunch or dinner.
(Sufficient to serve Six)
1 c. rice 1 slice onion
2 ½ c. stock, or meat broth ½ c. canned tomatoes
2 Tb. Butter
Steam the rice in the stock until it is soft by the method given for steaming rice. Then brown the butter and onion in a frying pan, add the tomatoes, and heat thoroughly. Pour this mixture into the rice, mix well, and serve.
Woman's Institute Library of Cookery, Vol. 1 (Scranton, PA, 1921)
One breakfast cup dates (stoned), 2 breakfast cups apricots (dried), 1 breakfast cup figs, 2 oranges, 2 lemons, 1 lb. sugar, 4 breakfast cups cold water.
Method. Cut up dates, apricots,and figs. Grate the rinds of the oranges and lemon. Extract the juice and put all the ingredients in to soak in the cold water for 24 hours. Boil gently for half an hour, add the sugar, and boil until the marmalade sets. Pot and cover in the usual way.
Examiner (Launceston, Tasmania) 28 February, 1940.