Historical recipes of Ste. Genevieve

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pat Robert of Cape Girardeau gave me the Ste. Genevieve "Missouri History on the Table: 250 years of Good Cooking and Good Eating." The cookbook was published in 1985, but the historical relevance of the book remains the same. I really like the way the book is divided into sections featuring periods of time and how culinary influences can be seen in each time period. I do not know if the book is still available, but it is a wonderful history book as well as a cookbook. I hope you enjoy.

Sunflower Seed Cakes

From the Missouri's Earliest Cooks section

1 1/2 cups seeds, shelled

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons fine white corn meal

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup sunflower oil

Cook seeds in water with salt in covered pan for 1 hour and then puree. Mix in cornmeal, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make a dough stiff enough to shape with hands. Cool to room temperature. Divide dough into 8 pieces and shape each into a 3-inch round cake. Brown in hot oil on both sides. Makes 8 cakes.

Praise the Persimmon Pudding

From the French Explorers, Eating on the Move section

1 cup persimmon pulp, with seeds and tough skins removed

1 egg

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 cup flour

1 cup oil

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon allspice

Dash salt


3/4 cup pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat egg slightly and stir in persimmon pulp and honey. Sift together cornmeal, flour and seasoning. Add to persimmon mixture, alternately with milk, enough to make a smooth batter. Fold in pecans. Pour into 4 greased individual baking dishes and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until firm. Serve hot or cold. Try it with sweet whipped cream or ice cream. Serves 4.

Original Stew

From the Roughing It with Camp Cooks section

1 pound turkey, dove or quail meat, cut into bite sized pieces

1 pound venison, cut small

1/2 pound pork sausage

1 large pepper, diced

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 pound small mushrooms

3 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon MSG

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 large tomato, diced

3 medium potatoes, diced

3 large carrots, diced

3 cups water

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon wine vinegar

Fry sausage until almost done. Pour off grease. Brown venison and fowl with sausage, until sausage is fully cooked. Combine all ingredients except flour. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour. Remove about 1 cup of liquid and cool it with 3 to 4 ounces cold water. Stir flour into cooled liquid and blend until smooth. Pour flour mixture back into stew, stirring constantly while it comes to a boil. When gravy is thickened, remove from heat. Serve hot with hot bread.


From the Setting the Table, French Colonial Style

2 dozen ears fresh sweet corn

2 finely chopped onions

2 large bell peppers, chopped

4 large over ripe tomatoes

1 stick butter

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

A little milk

Shell the corn, scraping the cob to get the milk. Set aside. Saute onion, bell pepper, and tomatoes for about 10 minutes. Add corn and cook till it loses its milky color and becomes golden. Add salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add a little milk if it becomes too dry. Serves 4 to 6.

Sopa De Cebollas for 4

From the Spanish Commandants and Cooks section

2 ounces crisp, toasted bread crusts, cut small

1 ounce butter

1/4 pound onions, chopped and peeled

6 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons tomato puree

2 eggs

Salt and pepper, to taste

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and cook the onions until golden and limp. Bring stock to a boil and add it to saucepan. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Add the tomato puree, seasonings and toasted bread crusts. Cover and simmer another 20 minutes. Beat the eggs well and add them to the soup, whisking gently, just before serving.

Potato Leek Soup

From the American Cooks section

1 pound baking potatoes, peeled and sliced

Tender green tops from 1 pound fresh white leeks

2 quarts chicken broth

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup heavy cream

Bring potatoes, leeks and broth to boil in a large soup pot. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Put through a food mill, not a blender, and return to pot. Heat again to boiling, add cream and serve.

I only made it halfway through the book, not getting to sections including The German Kuche, A Measure of Change, Glimpses Thru Our Kitchen Windows, Country Kitchens and Missouri Cooks -- Making Do. Maybe another time I can come back to those.

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 news@semissourian.com 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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