April 17, 2024

Heirloom Recipes With Heritage, History, and Nostalgia

Inside the Ingredients
By Nora Rae Pearl | March 23, 2024

Before we begin to stash our coats and put winter behind us, let us remember what years past have taught us…fake spring has arrived. The higher temps are showing us what is to come, but we will still have to get through some cold days first.

That’s what inspired me to bring out these family recipes that have become tradition throughout the years. Warming and delicious, these dishes will help you savor winter’s departure while you await true and lasting spring weather. Special ingredients used include northern Michigan’s own Cherry Republic Montmorency Dried Cherries, Augusta Mills Baking Flour from MI Market Suttons Bay, and root vegetables from 9 Bean Rows (call to check availability).

Cherry Irish Soda Bread

Cherry Irish Soda Bread

A soda bread for the books with cherries you won’t forget.

Ingredients
1 cup Cherry Republic Montmorency Dried Cherries
1 Earl Grey tea bag
Boiling water
1 cup and 2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/4 cups Augusta Mills Baking Flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons sanding or turbinado sugar

Instructions: Put the cherries in a small cup. Add the tea bag and top with enough boiling water to cover. Let sit for one hour. Drain cherries. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a skillet or Dutch oven inside to preheat.

In a medium bowl, combine milk and lemon juice. Let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the oil, sugar, and extract. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Toss in cherries. Add milk mixture. Mix in a folding motion until blended and no dry spots remain.

Shape the dough into a ball. Place on a large piece of parchment paper and flatten slightly. Brush top with cream and sprinkle on sugar. Cut a shallow X on top.

Carefully take out the hot pan from the oven, lift the dough using the parchment, and place inside. Return to the oven. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, until golden and hollow when tapped on the bottom. The bread is done when a thermometer inserted in the center reads 190 degrees. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve in thick wedges with salted Irish butter.

Vegetable Pot Pie

Vegetable Pot Pie

A tender biscuit atop creamy and satisfying vegetables.

Vegetable Ingredients
5 small to medium potatoes, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
12 oz. frozen sweet peas

Cream Sauce Ingredients
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup flour
4 cups milk

Rosemary Garlic Biscuits Ingredients
3 cups Augusta Mills Baking Flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups milk, plus extra to brush

To Make the Vegetables: Boil potatoes until almost fork tender, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, garlic, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown. Cut potatoes into 3/4 inch dice. Add to the pot along with peas. Cook for one minute, then take off the heat.

To Make the Cream Sauce: Combine turmeric through salt in a small bowl. Set aside. In a medium pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add flour, cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Stir in spice mixture. Slowly work in milk in a steady stream while whisking constantly. Bring to a bubble for one minute. Take off the heat. Pour over vegetables. Gently fold until mixed. Pour into a large casserole dish.

To Make the Rosemary Garlic Biscuits: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together flour through garlic powder. Make a well in the center. In a small cup, whisk together oil and milk until smooth. Pour into well. Mix until a dough forms. Turn out onto a floured surface, cut into 15 pieces. Shape into loose rounds, place on top of vegetables. Brush with a little milk. Bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbly and lightly browned. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving.

Nora Rae Pearl is 99 percent foodie and 1 percent chef. When she is not writing about food, she can be found waiting in line at the farmers market hoping to get a croissant before they run out. Photo credits Cody Werme.

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