12/17/16 6:00am

 

Rib-eye roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and roasted vegetables. (Credit: John Ross)

Rib-eye roast beef with Yorkshire pudding and roasted vegetables. (Credit: John Ross)

Much of our culture we inherited from the British, and none more than our love for meat and potatoes. America is more famous for its steaks and hamburgers than for its roasts, but beef has always been our choice for many special meals. This is the time of year, during the holidays, to indulge your family and guests to a “joint” of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. The following menu, inspired by the British, was enjoyed by my friends and family.

Potted Shrimp with Wilted Spinach Salad
Purchase 1 pound (21-25) of medium-sized shrimp. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, add 2 teaspoons salt and cook the shrimp until they turn pink, about 5 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and de-vein the shrimp, then cut them into small 1/4-inch pieces. (more…)

12/03/16 2:44pm
Heringssalat, a salad tray that features marinated herring and pickled beets. (Credit: John Ross)

Heringssalat, a salad tray that features marinated herring and pickled beets. (Credit: John Ross)

Julius Caesar is said to have inspired the German tradition of sauerbraten as he sent amphoras filled with beef marinated in wine over the Alps to the newly founded Roman colony of Cologne. However, since Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 B.C. and Cologne wasn’t founded until 50 A.D., this is highly unlikely.

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11/19/16 5:57am
The Thanksgiving turkey, broken down into parts and surrounded by all the fixings. (Credit: John Ross)

The Thanksgiving turkey, broken down into parts and surrounded by all the fixings. (Credit: John Ross)

Perhaps the crowning glory of Thanksgiving dinner is that moment when you bring the golden roast turkey to the table and set it in front of the host or hostess to carve.

But after that fleeting moment you are left with a messy job of trying to separate the parts of a bird that may be vastly overcooked or, worse, has blood flowing from the joints. One alternative is to break the turkey down the day before cooking into the legs and thighs, the breast and the backbone. Now you can make a rich stock with the bones; you can braise the legs and thighs for complete doneness and lots of flavor; and you can roast the breast to juicy perfection. You can even make a beautiful presentation at the table.

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10/22/16 6:10am
German apple cake with cream cheese frosting. (Credit: John Ross)

German apple cake with cream cheese frosting. (Credit: John Ross)

Apples appeared in the Kazakhstan mountains before recorded history and migrated from Asia to Europe thousands of years ago. Apple seeds landed in Jamestown with the Pilgrims in 1607. They grew into apple trees that produced a sour apple that was used for cider. Slightly fermented cider was the drink of choice for settlers, as it was safer to drink than contaminated water. The apple spread to all of the United States and is now the second most consumed fruit next to the banana. (more…)

10/08/16 6:02am
A 'cave man' pork chop with poblano pepper sauce, cornbread, broccoli, cauliflower and butternut squash. (Credit: John Ross)

A ‘cave man’ pork chop with poblano pepper sauce, cornbread, broccoli, cauliflower and butternut squash. (Credit: John Ross)

Pork, in all its fresh, processed, preserved and cooked forms, is the leading meat of the world. Before the invention of the railroad and before the invention of refrigeration, preserved meat and fish were the only way to feed much of the population.

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09/25/16 6:01am
Credit: John Ross

Credit: John Ross

The importance of bread in the history of civilization cannot be overestimated. Learning to grow and process grain turned people into farmers rather than hunters and foragers. This led to the further development of agriculture and the eventual development of towns rather than nomadic tribes.

Bread has evolved from prehistoric times, as the elements that go into it have evolved: the grains and how they are milled, the microbes that leaven the dough, the ovens that bake the bread and the people and their cultures who make and eat the bread. (more…)

09/10/16 6:02am
Oysters roasting on the grill. (Credit: John Ross)

Oysters roasting on the grill. (Credit: John Ross)

The North Fork had a rich heritage of food long before the English settlers arrived in 1640. The Native American tribes of the Northeast educated the settlers about indigenous foods while the English brought new cooking methods with them from Europe. Turkey, wild rice, corn, lima beans and green beans, peppers and tomatoes — in addition to fish and shellfish — are examples of foods from the Americas. The following modern menu for six features some of these foods: (more…)