Satisfy your palate with these regional recipes that incorporate home-grown Michigan herbs
If you're interested in cooking with herbs and want to use the best of Michigan and the Midwest's seasonal foods, then this is the cookbook for you.
The recipe section is written for both the novice and the more experienced cook. Each recipe has helpful information about serving suggestions and menu ideas. Scattered throughout the book are handy tips related to foods, herbs, and cooking. In addition, Michigan Herb Cookbook includes a section on herb growing and designing in which planting, growing, freezing, drying, and storage tips for over thirty herbs are explained in detail.
You will find over 150 recipes in the book's seven chapters. More than half are low-fat, and there are many vegetarian favorites. Also, a chapter devoted to condiments and "little extras" contains various herb blend, vinegar, chutney, pesto, and sauce recipes, such as Sun-Dried-Tomato Pesto and Roasted Red Pepper Sage Sauce.
Suzanne Breckenridge, formerly a ceramics and cooking instructor, is now a food stylist and caterer. Marjorie Snyder is a freelance food writer, a cooking teacher at a junior college, and cofounder and president of the Madison Wisconsin Herb Society.
Suzanne Breckenridge, formerly an instructor of both cooking and ceramics as well as a producer of herb-related public forums, is currently a food stylist and a caterer specializing in herbal cooking.
Marjorie Snyder is President and founding member of the Madison, Wisconsin Herb Society, as well as a freelance food writer and a cooking instructor at the college level.
Try these recipes for a delicious addition to a holiday dinner.
Acorn Squash Spoonbread
1 c. cornmeal
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 c. pureed cooked acorn squash
1 1/2 c. water
2 tbl. butter
1 jalapeno, halved, seeded, and chopped
1 c. milk
2/3 c. grated Swiss or Parmesan cheese
1/3 c. fresh chives or green onions, sliced
Preheat oven to 425°; grease rectangular oven pan (9" x 12"). In a small saucepan, combine cornmeal, salt, and paprika. Add squash and water; stir well. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 3-5 minutes for until thick. Remove from heat; add butter and jalapeno.
In a mixer beat eggs until frothy and lemon colored. Add milk, cheese, and chives or green onions. Stir to blend. Add cornmeal mixture and mix until smooth. Pour into pan, smooth even, and bake 25 minutes for until tip of knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Spoonbread is a Southern specialty, a baked dish made with white or yellow cornmeal, milk, eggs, and shortening, which is served with a spoon. Historically, spoonbread is an adaptation of an Indian method of preparing native white cornmeal, called "Suppawn." This porridge-like dish was cooked in pots and was later refined by the English colonists, who added milk and eggs. Then, some unknown cook left the mixture too long in the oven by mistake—spoonbread was the result.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart
1 c. rolled oats
1 c. chopped walnuts or almonds
1 c. sweetened coconut
1/3 c. sugar
6 tbl. butter, cut into bits
1/4 tsp. vanilla
In a food processor whirl oats, nuts, coconut, sugar, butter, and vanilla until dough holds together. Press evenly over bottom of 10" rectangular tart pan or 12" round tart pan.
Bake in 300° oven until crust feels firm and is lightly browned, about 30-40 minutes.
1 8-oz. and 1 3-oz. pkg. of cream cheese (regular or low fat), softened
1 16-oz. can pumpkin
2/3 c. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. EACH ground ginger and vanilla
2 tbl. flour
3 tbl. finely minced crystallized ginger
In a food processor, place cream cheese, pumpkin, and eggs and whirl. Add sugar, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and flour and blend until very smooth.
Sprinkle crystallized ginger on bottom of prebaked pastry and pour filling over. Bake at 350° until center is set, about 25 minutes. Cool on rack to room temperature.
A great gift when packaged in festive jars.
makes 2-3 cups
2 lb. fresh cranberries
3 apples, pared, cored, and diced in 1/2" cubes
3 pears, pared, cored, and diced in 1/2" cubes
1 c. golden raisins
1 c. currants
2 c. sugar
1 c. fresh orange juice
2 tbl. grated orange peel
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
1 1/2 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
2/3 c. orange-flavored liqueur
In a large nonaluminum saucepan, combine all ingredients except walnuts and liqueur. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens—about 45 minutes. Stir in walnuts and liqueur. Refrigerate covered 4 hours or overnight. Keeps 2 weeks refrigerated.