Monday, January 26, 2009

"The Black Family Reunion Cookbook" & "Sylvia's Family Soul Food Cookbook" - Yam Pork Chop Skillet and Golden Brown Macaroni and Cheese

Date I made these recipes: January 25, 2009

The Black Family Reunion Cookbook – Recipes and Food Memories from the National Council of Negro Women
Published by: Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 0-671-79629-1 © 1991
Recipe: Yam Pork Chop Skillet – p. 104

Sylvia’s Family Soul Food Cookbook – From Hemingway, South Carolina, to Harlem by Sylvia Woods and Family
Published by: William Morrow & Company, Inc.
ISBN: 0-688-16219-3 © 1999
Recipe: Golden Brown Macaroni and Cheese – p. 206-207

Well, this is part two of Inauguration food and today’s focus is on food from African-American kitchens.

One of the first things I think about when thinking about African-American foods is macaroni and cheese, something that until recently was almost exclusive to the African-American household. (Sorry, Kraft macaroni and cheese does not count in my book). In my household, the only time we ever had macaroni and cheese was when we made a dish called “Western Mac” that contained macaroni, cheese, ground beef, tomato paste and corn. This does not count as macaroni and cheese, either. Nope, if you’re going to have it, you need to make the real deal.

The mac and cheese recipe I used is from Sylvia’s Family Soul Food Cookbook. Sylvia Woods, the owner, runs Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem and try as I might on many and many a trip, I have never gotten up that far to try her restaurant but I am determined. Still, if you can’t get the real thing, making something from her recipe book is the way to go.

The other cookbook I used, The Black Family Reunion Cookbook had to have been sponsored by Crisco because there was hardly a recipe that didn’t call for Crisco oil or shortening. Lucky for me, I had both in my cupboards.

These dishes are easy to make and were darned good on yet another below zero day here in the heartland. The mac and cheese in particular was very tasty; what was surprising about this recipe is that it didn’t call for mustard (a typical component of macaroni and cheese) and yet the flavor didn’t suffer at all.

So happy post-inauguration, everyone and now dig in!

Yam Pork Chop Skillet – 4 servings
1 tablespoon Crisco Shortening or Crisco Oil
4 pork shoulder chops
4 medium yams or sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into rings
¼ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
¼ teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (14 ½ ounces) tomatoes

Heat Crisco Shortening or Crisco Oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Brown the pork chops.

Arrange the yam slices, onion slices and green pepper rings over pork chops. Sprinkle with thyme, marjoram, salt and pepper. Top with tomatoes. Cover. Cook on low heat one hour or until tender.

Golden Brown Macaroni and Cheese – Makes 5 to 6 servings or more as a side dish
6 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
2 ½ cups grated mild Cheddar grated cheese, divided
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
Paprika, for the top

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan.

In a 6-quart pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return the macaroni to the pot and stir in the butter or margarine until melted. Add 2 cups of the Cheddar cheese.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs then beat in the milk. Add the milk mixture to the pot with the macaroni. Stir until combined. Spoon into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the remaining ½ cup Cheddar cheese on top. Dust with paprika. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the casserole is warm throughout.

1 comment:

Angel H. said...

I know it's been over six years since you've postes this, but thankyouthankyouTHANKYOUUU for posting the Yam Pork Skillet Recipe! My mother's copy of the cookbook got misplaced after her passing, and I'd been trying to remember this recipe with no success. (For some reason, I'd always thought it called for stewed tomatoes!) Thanks again!