Drop by the Steampunk Cookery website.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Little Something for Your Perusal and Amusement

The author over at Great Grandmother's Kitchen tagged me in a little blog-based thing that, back in my day, we used to call a meme. Now, that's not the proper use of the word, so I'll say it's a little chain letter sort of thing in the blogosphere, designed to help you introduce yourself and promote the blogs of folks who might not otherwise be seen.

I definitely appreciate the praise lavished upon me, and so I suppose I can spare a few moments of my time (and take a few of yours) to write up a little something. While I do that, why not head over and read this article:

Great Grandmother's Kitchen: There is Steam in My Kitchen!: "If you are unfamiliar with the concept of Steampunk, Scifipedia explains it rather succinctly as something that, 'is set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of HG Wells and Jules Verne.'"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Maghreb Braised Chicken Thighs

Thighs! The mere word sends shivers up the spine. Chicken thighs, however, are a little less titillating, and a little more hunger-stimulating.

This recipe developed as a way to use the thighs from the chicken I broke down during my practice for my Practical Exam earlier this year. When you create the finished plate for that exam, you're expected to use the chicken breasts, and are not required to use any other part of the bird for any reason. I suppose you could, but there's no real requirement.

Anyhow, having had the recent experience of the Classical Restaurant class, and thinking of ways to put more than one protein item on a plate, I came up with this as a little side dish for the home version of my plate—something I'd do here, and not replicate at school unless I had a whole boatload of free time. From there, however, it spiraled into something my mother liked, and that I ended up serving at a local underground restaurant event.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Soup Banquet

Coming this month at Off the Beaten Path is another in my series of Steamfeasts. In response to a massive showing of interest in the various soups that I have prepared at home and abroad (i.e., in the houses of others,) I was offered the suggestion that I might prepare a meal entirely consisting of soups. I thought this a capital idea, and have prepared the following menu, showcasing a variety of soups from simple to complex, elegant to rustic.

Several of the recipes are things I've prepared before, which makes this a slightly less productive feast in terms of blog content. However, each soup has its own garnish that I will discuss in turn, as well as posting recipes for the new soups.

Chicken Consommé
Leek Royale

Tomato-Basil Bisque
Parmesan and Garlic Crouton

Potage Printanier
Carrot Coulis

Mulligatawny Soup
Boiled Rice

Peach–Yogurt Soup

Friday, May 13, 2011

On Mustard for Picnicking (part Two of Two)

Welcome back, true believers! Today, I shall finish up my discussion of the foods served at the picnic for Grand Ledge Victorian Day.
This was our crew, a fine and gallant bunch. To accompany our luncheon dish of cold roasted chicken, I created a thyme-infused Dijon-style mustard. The recipe came out of a fusion of new and old recipes, as well as basic flavoring techniques.

The mustard was a smash hit at the picnic, winning commendations from the picnickers and visiting soldiers alike (our blankets are a neutral zone where Union and Rebel may eat together in peace and harmony. And booze.)

As is my habit, however, I shall herein discuss a little bit about the creation of mustard over the Steampunk era, and present a few recipes from my collection of cook books.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Picnic! (Part One of Two)

Roast Capon
This past Saturday saw the much-needed trip to an event in my area, Grand Ledge Victorian Day. It is an incredibly enjoyable event, featuring croquet, Civil War reenactments, a low tea, quilts, antiques, a parade, a beard and mustache contest, and educational programming about the Victorian era. In particular, my friends and I (a motley group including Miss Kagashi of The Steamer's Trunk and our various associates, some from the Imperial Anti-Piracy Squadron) have established a tradition (which I have taken to calling "The First Manassas/First Bull Run Memorial Picnic" in homage to that battle) of picnicking during the Civil War skirmish. This year, Miss Kagashi and I coordinated ourselves to prepare some picnic items from the book Buckeye Cookery and Practical Housekeeping, which says:
The following bills of fare may be picked to pieces and recombined to suit tastes and occasions:

SPRING PICNICS.--Cold roast chicken; ham broiled on coals; fish fried or broiled; sardines; tongue; hard-boiled eggs; eggs to be fried or scrambled; Boston corn bread; buttered rolls; ham sandwiches prepared with grated ham; orange marmalade; canned peaches; watermelon and beet sweet-pickles; euchered plums; variety or bottled pickles; chow-chow; quince or plum jelly; raspberry or other jams; Scotch fruit, rolled jelly, chocolate, Minnehaha, old-fashioned loaf, and marble cake; coffee, chocolate, tea; cream and sugar; salt and pepper; oranges.
We set upon having a somewhat simpler picnic, not using everything off that list, and designed the following list of provisions, which we believed would suffice:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lamb Curry

This is what we call "Kitchen Face"
Here in my collection, I have a book called "The Curry Cook's Assistant," published in 1887. It's a little dense, and the recipes not always the clearest; yet, they are useful in that they showcase the sheer variety of curry dishes. (Of note, it's available through Project Gutenberg—which is an utterly invaluable resource—right here. They have a whole passel of cook books on there, and I may well exhaust my digital storage space saving them.)

The Phoenix Café, which I have discussed before, celebrated our DJ's birthday this month. I spoke with him last month and asked him what he'd like, food-wise, at his second 22nd birthday party. He requested that I create a lamb dish in his honor, and I suggested a lamb curry. My suggestion was met with enthusiastic nodding and excited eye movements, so I went with it.

I found a gorgeous leg of lamb on sale at my local farmer's market in one of the many meat purveyors' warehouses, grabbed some onions and old-fashion curry powder, and set them aside for the evening. I had other obligations in the morning, and would have to fetch and cook on the fly. I remained undaunted, and met with resounding success—one of my best-received dishes to date.

Ever the humble servant, I present to you Tommy's Lamb Curry.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Passover—The Feast of Unleavened Bread, part 2

Passover is a long holiday—eight days, to be exact—and so I have returned to complete my task. When last we met, I discussed the traditional table items for a passover meal; in this, the second part of my little discussion of Jewish passover tradition, I shall take on the passover meal itself, and elaborate on some of the varieties of food found in the Steampunk era. It will begin, with my apologies, in a somewhat scholarly manner, examining the sources I have used to create this pair of articles; I shall quickly proceed to a lesson on the origins of the dietary restrictions surrounding Passover, and finish with a discussion of dishes typical to a seder in the age of steam. As of this time, I have not prepared many of the dishes in my usual manner, and as such will present recipes from the primary sources without editing; it is a goal, however, to prepare some of them for my more typical posting style shortly. (Kosher for Passover food goes on sale after passover is over...)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


It's amazing what happens when you have an exam that decides your future in the business (passed with a 90%, one of the highest scores in my school,) the end of the semester, and a lack of free time...

What happens is your blog falls quickly by the wayside, as do your social life, propensity to have fun, and health. I'm back now, though, and I'll see you shortly with more posts.