By Dinah Corley
Recipe: Herb-Stuffed Eggs In A Wheat Grass Nest
Summary: Using butter in place of mayonnaise produces a prettier stuffed egg that has a creamier texture and stays fresh longer. Fresh wheat grass adds a lot of organic texture and bright color to the gift for very little money.
Recipe: White Chili
Summary: Developed for the mellower palates of the 1990s, white chili includes chicken, green chiles, and white beans in place of the more robust red beans, tomatoes, red chile powder, and beef. Don’t leave this chili on for hours after cooking, or the chicken will dry out.
Recipe: Indian-Spiced Chickpea-Potato Chili
Summary: The pairing of chickpeas and potatoes is popular in Indian cooking, and the combination is especially good in this chili-type dish seasoned with ginger, coriander, cumin, and other Indian spices. For a soy-free version, use a soy-free vegan yogurt.
Recipe: Tequila Sundown Chili
Summary: Tequila and lime deliver a pungent kick and orange juice adds a subtle sweetness to this party chili. Serve it with your favorite toppings and side dishes, along with a pitcher of tequila sunrises, or maybe some cold beer served in glasses rimmed with lime juice and sea salt.
Recipe: Spicy Black Bean Chili
Summary: This dark, rich chili is so easy to make, and it’s full of flavor, thanks to its long, slow cooking. For dramatic accompaniments, serve over noodles or rice made golden with a pinch of turmeric, and top with some diced avocado.
Recipe: Pinto Bean Chili with Mexican Sausage
Summary: Pinto beans make a delicious chili, although when they are available we use other beans like Desert Pebble, Buckskins, or rattlesnakes. Although we used canned beans here, you can use freshly cooked pinto beans, made the day before, as well. Use a traditional sausage such as chorizo, or substitute a spicy turkey sausage, just being sure to cook it thoroughly before adding it to the chili. Serve in shallow soup bowls or dinner plates with a rim, passing the delicious, colorful accompaniments to guests. Serve with fresh, warm flour tortillas.
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By Brooke Dojny
Recipe: The Presidential Beef
Summary: You don’t have to be entertaining heads of state to appreciate all the stellar qualities of these succulent wine-braised beef roulades filled with a savory New England root vegetable and greens stuffing. One plus is that the dish can—indeed, should—be made at least a day ahead so the roulades can steep in their flavorful braising liquid overnight. Another is that they are the embodiment of two eminently appealing qualities—a sophisticated touch of class and a gutsy earthiness.
By Ken Haedrich
Recipe: Tyler Pie
Summary: Tyler pie, sometimes called Tyler pudding pie, is said to be named for John Tyler, our 10th president. According to James Beard in his American Cookery (Little, Brown and Company, 1972), this sort of pie might have been called sugar pie in the South and maple sugar pie in the North, depending on the kind of sugar it was made with. In any event, it is basically a very sweet custard pie, typically—given the abundance of brown sugar and butter—with a caramel flavor. Like most early pies, there is nothing complicated about it: the ingredients are common, the mixing procedure simple and straightforward, and the results delicious.
Recipe: Presidential Stuffed Potatoes
Summary: Stuffed or twice-baked potatoes rank just behind mashed and fried spuds as Texas favorites. Frequently they are flavored with some sour cream, cheddar cheese, and maybe bacon or green onion. Henry Haller, who was at the White House during the Lyndon Johnson administration, created a more imaginative version for the president and his family. Although the dish is not for dieters, this version is lighter than the original recipe.
By James Villas
Recipe: Thomas Jefferson’s Sweet Potato Biscuits
Summary: Opened in 1774, City Tavern in Philadelphia has always been a veritable repository of authentic American dishes, one of the most important being these thick, spicy, sumptuous sweet potato biscuits adapted from Thomas Jefferson’s diaries and still served every day at the Tavern. Jefferson was the first true American gastronome, and while I’m sure the original biscuits baked by his cook at Monticello were leavened with little more than sodium bicarbonate or a few hundred whacks of the axe, this modernized version (which I’ve modified even further) gives some idea of how delicious the flavor must have been. Notice that these biscuits are baked at a relatively low temperature up to 30 minutes, just as they would have been in Jefferson’s day. And, incidentally, three of Jefferson’s pecan trees, dating back over 200 years, still grow at Monticello.
Recipe: Tomato-Chickpea Soup
Summary: This soup—basically a very fresh minestrone—was born of simple necessity. I had a pile of crudités left from a party and a family that needed a quick, hot dinner after we cleaned up from the festivities. You can certainly substitute other vegetables for cauliﬂower and green beans. Just be sure to cut them small enough to cook through but retain just a bit of bite in 10 minutes. Fennel would be especially welcome. In general, I’m a big believer in mise en place, the practice of preparing all ingredients before you start to cook. But this recipe is actually so simple that you can start sautéing each vegetable while chopping the next.