Monday, 17 May 2010

Georgian Cooking: Stuffed Liberty Turnips

Welcome to my new series on Georgian food and cooking. Each week I'm going to be featuring a recipe or a bit of food history from one of three books: The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse (the 18th-century's Delia Smith), Benjamin Franklin Book of Recipes(edited by Hilaire Dubourcq) and Lobscouse and Spotted Dog(a gastronomic companion to the novels of Patrick O'Brian by Anne Chotzinoff Grossman and Lisa Grossman Thomas). In some cases (if I'm feeling brave enough) I may even try to make the recipes myself (you can already check out my attempt to make French Flummery here).

So to kick off, I give you this recipe for Stuffed Liberty Turnips. In Benjamin Franklin Book of RecipesHilaire Dubourcq has cleverly adapted recipes from the period and combined them with anecdotes about Franklin's life; this one accompanies an entertaining description of a gala, held by Benjamin Franklin at his home, to celebrate the third anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.

Stuffed Liberty Turnips

8 young turnips
Half a cup diced bacon
Half a cup chopped chives
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup beef stock
Half a cup dry sherry
Half a cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon white pepper
3 teaspoons salt

Method: Hollow out the turnips and cook them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water, dry with a towel and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of salt. Fry the flesh in butter and purée in a food processor. Fry the diced bacon in butter until crispy and blend in the purée with the chopped chives. Pour in the lemon juice and the dry sherry. Mix and season with white pepper and salt. Fill the turnip shells with the purée and arrange them in a well-buttered gratin dish. Pour in the beef stock and coat the turnips with the breadcrumbs. Place the dish in a 400 degree f (gas mark 6) oven and cook for 25 minutes.

And just in case that's not enough turnip for you, here's Hannah Glasse'srecipe for Turnip wine:

Take a good many turnips, pare, slice, and put them in a cyder-press, and press out all the juice very well. To every gallon of juice have three pounds of lump-sugar, have a vessel ready, just big enough to hold the juice, put your sugar into the vessel, and also to every gallon of juice half a pint of brandy. Pour in the juice, and lay something over the bung for a week to see if it works. If it does, you must not bung it down till it has done working; then stop it close for three months, and draw it off in another vessel. When it is fine, bottle it off.

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Laura said...

Sounds good, I might have to try this. Butter, bacon, sherry...winner! :)

Mrs Woffington said...

Let me know if you try it; I'm thinking I might have a go at some of these recipes myself. Quite fancy an 18th-century curry from the Lobscouse book.