It is far too long since I gave you a menu, and probably longer since I gave you something that happened “On This Day.” So, today I share with you the menu from which you would have chosen your dinner, were you aboard the Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen line ship “Kaiser Willhelm II” on this day in 1910. The menu was given in both German and English, but I have transcribed only the English.
Consommé with Egg-Jelly
Filet of Halibut au Suprême
Roastbeef au Jus
Stewed Apricots – Lettuce Salad
Vanilla- and Strawberry Ice-Cream
Fruits Coffee to Order
I am a little puzzled by the stewed apricots alongside the roast chicken and lettuce salad (although it sounds delicious), but perhaps one of you with knowledge of German cuisine can enlighten me as to if this is a common combination.
As the dish of the day, I have chosen Oxtail Soup – it was a staple winter dish when I was growing up in the north of England, and I cannot believe I have not given you a recipe for it before. I have chosen one from a book I have just discovered, and which I am sure I will use again. The book is indeed as it claims “A book that every family needs.” The full title I will abbreviate as: Consult Me, to Know how to Cook ... Consult Me on Confectionery ... Consult Me on Household Management and Economy ... Consult Me on Diseases and Their Remedies ... on a Thousand Other Things (London, 1871.) They don’t publish books like that anymore.
Joint the tails, and let them soak for some time in warm water. Put into a gallon stew-pan 8 cloves, 2 or 3 onions; allspice and black pepper, of each # a drachm; cayenne pepper, 1 chm; cover with cold water; skim as long as any scum rises; cover the pan very close, and simmer till the meat becomes tender, and will easily leave the bones. A table-spoonful of mushroom ketchup and a glass of wine will be a great improvement.
My German mother used to serve stewed apricots with chicken when I was little. A quick Internet search shows a number of modern recipes with this combination. Hadn't thought of it for years. Now my mouth is watering!
This oxtail recipe is very near what my mother and grandmother used to make. I can occasionally find oxtail in the market, but it's nearly as expensive as a lesser cut of steak, and for the meat to bone ratio, I simply can't justify it except as a treat.
One of the best things I ever made was apricot pineapple chicken. It had apricots, apricot jam, canned pineapple, chicken pieces. Sometimes I added red and yellow bell peppers and white onion. Served over fragrant white or brown rice. The pineapple tang blends with the jam for a mild sweet & sour. Fresh pineapple is good too. If using canned apricots, add toward the end so it doesn't soften too much. Nice in winter time as a reminder of better weather ahead.
Apricot and chicken just go together. It's hard to go wrong with the combination.
When I was a kid we often had stewed fruit with dinner. Only slightly sweetened, not dessert sweet. YUM
One of the best meals I ever ate was Baked Chicken served with Baked Apricots - it was a Cherokee Indian recipe (the cook wouldn't share it)
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