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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Royal Cookbook; Favorite Court Recipes...

I know I said I would be here on Sunday with some recipes from The Royal Cookbook but, on Thursday of last week, Marion received a call from her grandson saying he was coming to visit for the weekend with his wife and their baby Michael. She was delighted! We had a wonderful weekend. As a matter of fact, we had such a great weekend that they didn't decide to leave until Monday morning. Hence, the delay in this post.

Quite frankly, I'm a little disappointed with the offerings of The Royal Cookbook. Don't get me wrong, the book does share some favorite recipes from the world's royal families, it just doesn't share enough of them and there could be a few more pictures too. I guess I should be thankful I have such a cool cookbook after all, it was published in 1971. Each chapter is written by a different author which is kind of special. For today's post, we have English author Sheila Hutchins, who was once food editor of the Daily Express and published many books on the regional food of England. I wasn't able to find much about the author online which is rather unfortunate. From the list of cookbooks credited to her we do learn though that she knew her stuff when it came to traditional English cookery.

"Sheila Hutchins, author of the chapter on England, is the cookery writer for the London Daily Express. She also writes a daily column on cooking and gastronomy that appears in other British newspapers. Miss Hutchins, who speaks French, German, and Hungarian, owns a large collection of cookery books in six languages, including more than two hundred valuable English books dating to the 16 century. She was first taught to cook at convent school in Switzerland. "All the rest," she says, "is the result of an inquiring mind and a healthy appetite."

The chapter on English cookery begins in the Middle Ages and ends with a short paragraph on the eating habits of Elizabeth II. I know nothing about the "chain of command" when it comes to royalty so I'm best just quoting from the author.

Elizabeth II likes simple, nonfattening foods, and some years ago cancelled the weekly order for her favorite chocolate coated violet creams. Prince Philip is a "hearty, unfussy eater" who likes "good red meat." No oysters have been served at the Palace since the reign of Edward VIII (later the Duke of Windsor), who was very fond of them. The Queen enjoys barbecues at Balmoral, at the picnic parties that follow royal shooting expeditions. In the past, queues of servants used to lay out quantities of food on checkered tablecloths; now, however, Queen Elizabeth likes to cook at the barbecue, and serves her guests with her own hands. One wonders what her ancestors would have said!"

The recipe picture selection in The Royal Cookbook is pretty limited. I've chose two recipes from the book to share with you today. The first is an English Comadore which is basically a Fruit and Nut Tart.

Comadore (Fruit and Nut Tarts)
Ingredients
1/2 cup sweet wine
10 dried figs, finely chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon mace
1/8 teaspoon clove
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 firm apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 firm pear, peeled, cored, and diced
Puff pastry
Cooking oil
Directions:
Heat the wine and drop in the figs and raisins to soften for a few minutes. Lightly brown the pin nuts in the oil. Add the nuts to the wine with the remaining 8 ingredients. Stir over medium heat and cook until all the wine has evaporated and the apple and pear are soft but not mushy. Spread on a plate to cool.

Roll out puff pastry to 1/16 inch thick. Cut in 3-inch squares and place not more than 2 teaspoons of the filling down the center of the square, leaving 3/8 inch on each end and ½ inch on the sides. With a pastry brush moisten the edges with water. Roll tightly and pinch the ends to seal. Fry in deep fat (375°) seam side down until golden, turn and cook the other side. Drain on paper towels. Makes about 40 finger shaped tarts.


I just couldn't resist sharing this recipe for Rhenish Wine Cream.

Rhenish Wine Cream
Ingredients:
1 cup Rhine wine
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
1-inch stick cinnamon
4 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons orange flower water
Directions:
Boil the wine, sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon stick together for 10 minutes. Beat the egg yolks until very thick and lemon colored. Remove the cinnamon stick and add the hot wine slowly to the yolks. Blend well and stir in the confectioners’ sugar and orange flower water. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into the wine mixture. Ladle from the bottom into goblets or compotes. Makes 6 servings.

It appears there has already been a cocktail created in honor of the future King; The George Royale recipe can be found at the Daily Express.

Royal Chef-Darren McGrady was personal chef to Queen Elizabeth II, Diana, Princess of Wales and Princes’ William and Harry for fifteen years. Not only does he have a cookbook and a website, he also offers a recipe for Bananas Flan which according to Marion, (yes, my Marion who caught a bit of food trivia on the news) is a favorite of Prince William.

Thank you for your patience everyone. I'll be out blog visiting tomorrow. "See" you then! Louise

FYI: Don't forget, tomorrow, July 30th, is National Cheesecake Day!

54 Nibbles:

Juliana Levine said...

The wine dessert looks great...and simple to make.
Yes, tomorrow is cheesecake day...as a matter of fact Cheesecake Factory is charging half price for their cheesecakes :D
Have a lovely week Louise!

Lynn said...

Fascinating as always, Louise! Thanks for all the royal lowdown.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Really fun post! But what's the world coming to when the Queen of England cooks her own BBQ and serves it to her guests with her own hands? ;-) The Rhenish Wine Cream looks kind of interesting - I might give that a try sometime. Good stuff - thanks.

Nee said...

Dear Louise , nothing was more delightful than a visit for Marion over the weekend , a good and joyful time was had by all ... what a beautiful baby and the smile just melts my heart .
Oh yes , the Wine Cream looks so yummy , hope I get brave enough to try some of the recipes .... thanks for sharing . :)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Doesn't that banana flan look lovely? And can't you just picture Queen Elizabeth as a master of the grill? I can't get the picture out of my head!! :-)

SissySees said...

What a cutie! I'm always amazed that though my family tree is primarily British, there's little about their food that tempts me.

Linda A. Thompson-Ditch said...

I loved this post, especially since I'm such an anglophile! Now I'm in search of the cookbooks so I can check it out myself. Plus, I follow Chef Darren on Facebook and enjoy his posts.

Gloria Baker said...

this a fun post Louise and I love these banana flan look amazing and always I learn new things with you lol

Jeannie Tay said...

Hi! I love the look of the banana flan...looks so yum! I am not familiar with this Royal Cookbook but judging from the recipes that you have tried here, I would say it must be quite a fabulous book to have:)

Linda said...

Well...isn't he a wee cutie-pie!!
Oh...pie...YUM!

Cheers!
Linda :o)

Catherine said...

Dear Louise, I have to agree with T.W., it is hard to imagine the queen checking on the bbq!! but I am glad she jumps right in and is grilling and enjoying herself.
I do bet these recipes are delicious!!
Thank you dear Louise for sharing. Your posts always leave me knowing interesting facts and delicious recipes. I love retro!! I think it is because it is comfortable and brings back such dear memories of growing up.

Blessings dear and I always keep you and yours in my prayers. Catherine xo

I Wilkerson said...

Marian's great grandson is a lovely child! I can see how the visit would be a distraction! It seems like summer has had one distraction after another for me! I just found a big container of sliced bananas in the freezer, so the flan looked interesting but perhaps a bit challenging given my continued over-scheduling! Fall??

Barbara said...

What a cutie! Smiling with his blankie.
Interesting cookbook, Louise. It looks as though we all liked the look of the banana flan!

Natalie G said...

Oh wow those tarts are looking mighty delicious!

Chaya Selig said...

What an adorable little boy. I bet you had fun with him, certainly more fun than blogging. The photos are beautiful although the book is not perfect.

I am trying to figure why you can't see the watermelons. They are beautiful artwork. I have to go to someone else's computer and try to figure out what is going on. Thanks for letting me know.

Mary Callan said...

GREAT post Louise!! so interesting and fabulous recipes!!
Mary x

Zoe said...

Hi Louise,

The Rhenish wine cream sounds really interesting! I like to see what are the other recipes in this cookbook... I wonder what are the kind of food that royals like to eat :P

Zoe

kitchen flavours said...

Hi Louise,
Marion's little great-grandchild is so cute! Isn't it wonderful when family comes for a visit!
The cookbook is rather interesting, I like the part where QE II cooks her own barbecue and then serve it to guests, a nice surprising read!
Thank you for sharing the recipes, I'm sure they are delicious, coming from the royal dining table!
Hope you have a lovely day!
Thanks for stopping by my golden harvest!! wink!
Hope your pineapple will pop up a lovely surprise anyday soon!

Shirley Tay said...

Such an adorable child! I thought it's rather an interesting cookbook; it's making me feel royal already. Hahaha!

Liz Berg said...

Michael is adorable! Yeah, I think we're spoiled with all the great photos in recent cookbooks...I'm so used to seeing how a dish should look that I'm disappointed when there's no pictures.

Marjie said...

What an adorable baby! I'm so happy he came to see Marion, so you could play with him, too.

The goblet dessert is pretty, isn't it?

openid said...

Michael is just too too cute! With all this royal business, it made me curious about what they eat (naturally) so thanks for sharing!

Suchismita Majumdar said...

Loved reading about Sheila Hutchins, never heard about her. Her profile sounds so interesting and oh yes Michael is so sweet :-)

Tina said...

I'm sorry you were disappointed with some of the book. The banana flan caught my attention here though. Michael is such a cutie...no wonder you and Marion wanted to extend his visit.

Thanks for your very insightful comments on my Jones meat post. Supermarket meats are terrible these days and I agree with you 100%. Talk to you via email later!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Never apologize for having a good time. We like what you do well enough to wait for you to post and weekends like the one you had are priceless in the light of eternity. I hope this one brings as much happiness. Blessings...Mary

grace said...

i've been alive 30 years and there's still no cocktail named after me. hmph. :)

~~louise~~ said...

Oh how I wish we had a Cheesecake Factory close by, Juliana. I LOVE cheesecake!

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Lynn. Glad you enjoyed it:)

~~louise~~ said...

I think it's kinda cool that the Queen is a BBQ hostess at times, John. I'm sure she has many people standing around her to help. Well, maybe...I'd love to try that Rhenish Wine Cream it sounds intriguing. Thanks for dropping by...

~~louise~~ said...

Marion did have a GREAT weekend, Nee. She should have visitors more often:)

~~louise~~ said...

It sure does, T.W. Marion has requested I give it a go. We'll see...It does sound rather odd, I wonder if she wears a "chef" hat?

~~louise~~ said...

Oh I don't know, Channon. My family roots come from Italy and dare I say, I don't always enjoy Italian food.

~~louise~~ said...

Oh I'm glad, Linda. Good Luck finding those books!

~~louise~~ said...

I may just have to give that Banana Flan a try Gloria. When Marion saw it her eyes lit up, lol...

~~louise~~ said...

It's a very interesting book, Jeannie. One day I will share more recipes from it. so glad you enjoyed your visit:)

~~louise~~ said...

He was a pleasure to have around, Linda. Marion had a ball!

~~louise~~ said...

I think many people like the "retro" feel for much the same reason, Catherine. It does have a way of igniting memories. Prayers always welcome. Thank you:)

~~louise~~ said...

He was a delight to have around, Inger. Marion hadn't seen him since he was an infant. A Banana Flan in the Fall? Oh YES!

~~louise~~ said...

Marion made that blanket for him before he was even born:) Enjoy your island vacation Barbara!

~~louise~~ said...

They sure do, Natalie!

~~louise~~ said...

He is adorable, Chaya. And so well behaved too! I did finally see the watermelon. I don't know what the problem could have been. Thanks for visiting...

~~louise~~ said...

Thanks Mary!

Gourmantine said...

What an interesting cookbook to have! I do like a lot the wine dessert!

~~louise~~ said...

The Rhenish Cream does sound interesting doesn't it Zoe? I thought so too. There are quite a few royal families discussed in this book. It is rather large, contains 224 pages and includes a bit of history and recipes from Antiquity to the Pacific Islands. I will be posting from it again:)

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Joyce,

He was such a good boy too, Joyce. And it was wonderful having guests for the weekend. Marion really enjoyed it. She was actually trying to teach him how to crochet, lol...

I don't think my pineapple is ever going to surprise me. I visit yours every now and again just to remind myself that it is possible!

~~louise~~ said...

It's really an interesting cookbook, Shirley. I will be sharing more recipes one day:)

~~louise~~ said...

I totally understand, Liz. I have so many early cookbooks that don't include pictures but that's not to say the recipes aren't good.

~~louise~~ said...

He was delightful, Marjie and Marion was thrilled!

~~louise~~ said...

He is quite the charmer, Angie. I was curious too, I'm glad I could share a taste.

~~louise~~ said...

So glad you enjoyed your visit, Suchi.

~~louise~~ said...

it was a delightful visit, Tina. Marion had a ball!

~~louise~~ said...

Thank you, Mary...

~~louise~~ said...

Well, Grace, I do believe there is but off hand I can't think of it. Perhaps it is high time you invent one!

~~louise~~ said...

Welcome Gourmantine, so glad you enjoyed the bites of the book. I'll be sharing more in the future. Drop by anytime:)