Sunday, January 3, 2016

Historical Food Fortnightly #1: Potatoes and Cabbage With Cheese Sauce

The Challenge: 1. Meat-and-Potatoes (January 1 - January 14) They’re a staple for the tables in the most rustic cottages as well as the fanciest banquet tables - and it’s also an idiom meaning a staple or the most basic parts of something. Make a historic “meat-and-potatoes” recipe - however you interpret it. 

My household is mainly vegetarian, so I had to kind of work around this challenge. Taking “meat-and-potatoes” as an idiom steered me toward basic, wholesome foods, and of course I took the "and potatoes" part literally. I couldn't resist this great little book from 1941, 250 Ways of Serving Potatoes.

 The Recipe: Potatoes and Cabbage With Cheese Sauce


3 cups diced potatoes 
1 quart chopped cabbage 
1 pint boiling water 
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup grated cheese

The Date/Year and Region: 1941, USA 

How Did You Make It: Following the recipe's directions, the potatoes and cabbage were boiled in shallow salted water.

The cheese sauce was made in a separate pan. First the evaporated milk was scalded. I don't use evaporated milk much and it looked awful brown to me!

Grated cheddar to add.

Done! Still looks kinda weird and brown.

The vegetables were arranged in a dish and the cheese sauce poured over.

The sauce was thin and they nearly drowned!


 Time to Complete: About 30 minutes.

 Total Cost: About $7.

 How Successful Was It?: This was delicious, as I would expect potatoes in cheese to naturally be. The sauce was a little thin, but very cheesy and the dish had a nice amount of salt. I was skeptical about the evaporated milk but the overwhelming flavor was the cheese.

Overall, it was a basic, hearty dish. Very "meat-and-potatoes!"

 How Accurate Is It?: I am not sure what kind of cheese would have been used; the recipe doesn't specify. But otherwise I followed as closely as possible. A mid-20th century recipe is pretty easy to duplicate with 21st century techniques.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like something great for Saint Patrick's Day - which is coming up! :-)