Friday, June 29, 2012

Kraft, Good "eatin' cheeses"

I'm not really sure why this ad has eatin' cheeses in parenthesis but usually that's the mark of a word that doesn't really mean what you think it does.  If I say cheese I'm talking of fermented milk that's cooked and makes lovely assortment of dairy products.  If I say "cheese" I might be talking about cheez whiz, 10% cheese, 90% whiz, i.e. a product that contains the name cheese but is anything but the real deal.  So when Kraft describes their cheeses as good "eatin' cheeses" I can only assume they are poking fun at the fact that they sell cheese like substance.  Well now, I think for the purposes of this ad that what Kraft used to produce and/or import was actually real cheese.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Not Everything is Better With Jell-o

In the 1950's Americans were so concerned with the threat of nuclear war that they saw fit to make even the food blast proof.  Jell-o answered the call and millions of housewives soon learned to encase their food in a Jell-o forcefield capable of withstanding the most punishing nuclear blasts.  Husbands soon tired of the Jell-o mania and started throwing the gelatinous concoctions out of house windows giving rise to a new UFO hysteria as innocent bystanders witnessed the unidentified flying dinners soaring across the sky.  By the early 1960's the Jell-o mania had subsided in favor of real dinners that did not need to be incarcerated in ground up hooves.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Carnegie Deli Cheesecake Recipe & Review

I made this back when we had some family coming into town to visit.  The Carnegie Deli has been open since 1937 on 55th St. in New York City and quite possibly lays claim to the true, original New York Style Cheesecake.  This is quite different from any other cheesecake recipe out there.  Gone is the graham cracker crust and heavy consistency, this is a light citrusy  cheesecake that will leave you in a state of bliss.  Before we go into the recipe I will warn you just like the Carnegie Deli site does, it may take you a couple times to get this recipe right.  It's very complicated for the home cook, used to opening a box and adding eggs and oil to make a cake.  I say this not to dissuade you from trying it because in great risk there is great reward.  I got it right the first time and you can too if you follow the directions.  Make this the day before you need it, it really needs a day to mature in the refrigerator before you serve it. 

Carnegie Deli Cheesecake

Cookie Crust
1cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4 - inch bits

1. To make the crust, place the flour, sugar, grated lemon rind, vanilla extract, egg yolk, and butter in a large mixing bowl. With your fingertips, rub the ingredients together until they are well mixed and can be gathered into a ball. Dust with a little flour, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2. Butter and flour the bottom of a 9 inch X 2 inch spring-form pan, roll out a piece of dough to cover bottom. Dough should be as thick as for a normal sugar cookie (1/4 inch) Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven to a light brown color. Cool the pan and bottom. Butter the sides of the pan. Roll out and line the sides of the pan with more of the cookie dough. Trim excess dough from the edges. 

Cheese Filling

1 1/4 pounds softened cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream

To make the filling, place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it is creamy and smooth (use a mixer at low speed, you don't want to incorporate air into the mix). Beat in the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, and, when it is well incorporated, beat in the flour, lemon, vanilla, eggs and egg yolk and heavy cream. No lumps please!

Baking Step One:
Preheat the oven to 485-500 degrees. Oven should be hot to enhance color. Pour the filling into the cookie dough lined pan, bake in the center of the oven until a dark brown color has been achieved. The cake should also start to rise slightly. Cool for 30 minutes and set oven to 350 degrees.

Baking Step Two:
After cheesecake has cooled for 30 minutes, return the cheesecake to the oven for final baking (this procedure will set the cheesecake).

NOTE: Cheesecake is like a pudding with only eggs being used to firm the cake. When the cake is bouncy in the center and slightly risen in the middle as well as on the sides, it's finished!

Baking time at 350°F will vary (usually 25 to 40 minutes) depending on your oven.
Final Step:
Cool cheesecake in pan for at least 2 hours before trying to remove it from the pan. Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight. For best flavor, cheesecake should be served at nearly room temperature. Slice cake using a hot, wet knife; wipe blade clean between slices.

NOTE: If you overbake, the cake will crack and be too firm. If you underbake, the cake will tend to be soft in the center. 

Despite the steep learning curve of making such a complicated recipe it actually turned out excellent.  Everyone loved the texture and, yes, it's a heavy dessert but nowhere near the belly bomb that your usual cheesecake recipe is.  I will make this again and I've learned a couple things along the way that will help me make this even better than the first time (i.e. Make it the day beforehand and really use a 9" pan not a 10").

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kraft Cheese and Breasts

"Did you know it takes more than a gallon of rich milk to make 1lb of Kraft Cheese?"  It's interesting that she should say that while next to a dish that looks like a boob.  As a matter of fact the theme of this ad seems to have been breasts, perhaps a subliminal message to people reading the ad that only pure fresh milk goes into Kraft cheese.  Well that's the way it used to be anyway.  I'm not really sure what goes into kraft cheese today, but it only tastes like cheese like substance so it's probably nothing good.  The real fact is that cheese like this is quite different from Velveeta or Cheese slices that appear on store shelves today. It's a taste that most people have forgotten about, that of true American Cheese.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bacon-ey Goodness By Swift

I wrote about this awhile back and since then found another one of these Swift ads for Bacon in a jar.  The ad tells us that there are "5 extra slices in every jar".  Swifts must have spent a fortune selling this product because I've never seen any ads for canned bacon from other producers like Armour.  It also seems to me that this bacon is not cooked, instead it is wrapped in wax paper and sealed in to be removed and cooked in an oven by the consumer.  Of more interest to me would have been pricing of canned bacon vs fresh back in the early 1900's.  Most people would have bought fresh bacon when it was needed, hence the term "Bringing home the bacon" was coined.  I know that about 30 years ago canned bacon disappeared entirely from store shelves due to increased costs and just a lack of demand in the face of improvements on refrigerators and freezers in homes.  In my research I found a company called "yoder's" that sells canned bacon.  Yoder's bacon is fully cooked and wrapped in wax paper in a standard size can and hermetically sealed.  It's rather expensive at $12/can but it's mainly marketed to the "survivalist" weirdos who seem to think they can put away enough food to live out the rest of their lives after whatever disaster their tinfoil covered brains has concocted comes to pass. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Karo Corn Syrup

Wow, people used to get married young back in the old days... ok, not really.  This lovely ad for Karo Corn Syrup is from 1910 and coincides with an ad campaign launched by the president of corn products refining board.  He believed so fiercely in the dependable high quality and flavor of corn syrup that he spend an astonishing (for the time) $250,000 in ads for Karo corn syrup.  This ad is one of the most famous and the Karo Kids are featured again in full color on a Karo Cookbook initially released the same year.  Karo itself was invented in 1902 and name came from either the chemist that invented it who named it after his wife's nickname or was from an earlier syrup called "Kairomel" depending on who you ask.1

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