Eat like a president with White House recipes

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Famous people from time to time submit recipes for inclusion into cookbooks. It may be celebrities or artists, or like today's examples, presidents of the United States and their first ladies. Some of these are more current, while others are quite old, like Abraham Lincoln's vanilla almond cake. You be the judge of which recipes you will try.

Pat Nixon's Meatloaf

From "The White House Family Cookbook" by Henry Haller, 1987

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup finely chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 slices white bead

1 cup milk

2 pounds lean ground beef

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram

2 tablespoons tomato puree

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Melt butter in a saute pan, add garlic and saute until just golden, do not brown. Let cool.

Dice bread and soak it in milk.

In a large mixing bowl, mix ground beef by hand with sauteed onions and garlic and bread pieces. Add eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, thyme and marjoram and mix by hand in a circular motion.

Turn this mixture into the prepared baking pan and pat into a loaf shape, leaving at least one inch of space around the edges to allow fat to run off. Brush the top with the tomato puree and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to penetrate and to firm up the loaf. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bake meatloaf on lower shelf of oven for 1 hour, or until meat is cooked through. Pour off accumulated fat several times while baking and after meat is fully cooked.

Let stand on wire rack for five minutes before slicing.

Makes 6 servings.

Rosalynn Carter's Peanut Brittle

2 cups sugar

1 cup corn syrup, clear

1/2 cup water

1 cup butter

4 cup peanuts, raw

1 teaspoon baking soda

Blend sugar, corn syrup, water and butter. Cook to 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Add peanuts and cook to 280 degrees. Stir occasionally and continue cooking to 305 degrees. Remove from heat. Add baking soda and stir quickly until mixture foams. Quickly pour into 2 buttered 15-by-10-by-1-inch pans and spread thinly over entire surface of pans. Cool until hard and break into pieces.

Rosalynn Carter's Chicken Supreme

4 whole boned chicken breasts, split, (3 pounds)

1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cardamom

3 teaspoons of chervil or tarragon leaves

3 teaspoons of salt

1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

1 egg

1/4 cup of milk

1 cup of fine dry breadcrumbs


2 tablespoons of brandy

1/4 cup of Burgundy, or a dry white wine, such as Chablis

1 1/2 cups of chicken broth

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken breasts with cardamom, chervil, salt and pepper. Beat the egg and milk together. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, then coat with fine breadcrumbs. Heat the margarine, about 4 tablespoons at a time, until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken breasts, several at a time and brown on both sides. Add additional margarine as needed until all the chicken is browned.

Place the chicken in shallow baking dish, pour brandy, Burgundy and 1 cup of chicken broth over the chicken.

Bake about 30 to 40 minutes or until the chicken is done. Pour broth into 1 quart saucepan. Blend smoothly 2 tablespoons of flour with 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Stir into reserved broth. Heat, stirring until boiling.

Arrange the chicken in serving dish, pour some of the gravy over the chicken and serve remainder separately.

Makes 4 to 8 servings.

Ronald Reagan's Hamburger Soup

2 pounds lean ground beef

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups diced onions

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 1/2 cups sliced carrots

1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper

10 ounces canned hominy

1 cup diced green bell pepper

3 quarts (12 cups) beef broth or water with bouillon cubes

16 ounces chopped tomato (canned or fresh)

2 cups sliced celery

Brown meat in butter in six-quart saucepan. Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery and green pepper. Simmer 10 minutes with the pan covered.

Add beef broth or water with bouillon cubes. Add chopped tomato and pepper. Simmer soup on low heat for 35 minutes.

Add hominy. Boil hamburger soup for 10 minutes more.

Makes 4 quarts.

President Eisenhower's Favorite Cake

1/2 cup butter

2 cups granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 cup sour milk

2 1/2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder, rounded

2/3 cup cocoa dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Cream shortening; slowly beat in sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract.

Add cocoa and flour mixture alternately with milk. Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites. Pour into 2 greased layer cake tins.

Bake 25 minutes at 375, or use greased 9-inch square tin, baking 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Ice with a seven-minute frosting.

Thomas Jefferson's 1774 Sweet Potato Biscuits

This recipe is from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. According to the NCC, Jefferson's biscuits were served at the first meeting of the First Continental Congress in 1774 and are served today at the famous City Tavern, built in 1773, in Philadelphia' s historic district at 2nd and Walnut streets.

These are a light, tasty biscuit (scone), with or without the pecans.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, cut in small pieces

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup milk

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sweet potatoes, mashed (about 1 large Virginia sweet potato)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 450. Combine the dry ingredients. Add butter with fork, food processor or pastry cutter until the texture is small crumbs. Combine milk and sweet potatoes. Add to flour mixture. Add pecans. Knead dough with your hands until it is a smooth mass. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/2-inch thickness and cut with a 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on a greased baking sheet 2 inches apart.

Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Yields 10 biscuits.

Mary Todd Lincoln's Vanilla-Almond Cake

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/3 cups milk

1 cup almonds, finely chopped

6 egg whites, stiffly beaten

White Frosting

Cream together sugar, butter and vanilla extract. Stir together the cake flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in almonds. Gently fold in the egg whites. Pour into two greased and lightly floured 9-by-1 1/2-inch round baking pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 28-30 min. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Fill and frost with white frosting.

White Frosting: In a saucepan, combine

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar and dash salt.

Bring mixture to boiling, stirring until the sugar dissolves. In mixing bowl place 2 egg whites; very slowly pour the hot sugar syrup over, beating constantly with electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 7 minutes. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Have a great week and, until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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