4 Recipes to Help You Celebrate This Historic Inauguration Day
As Barack Obama prepares to become the 44th President of the United States, thoughts turn to Inauguration Day food for all the gatherings and parties that will be held to celebrate this historic occasion.
Below are 4 recent recipes created especially to commemorate this event...enjoy!
1. Red, White, and Blueberry Cobbler Cake
This is good stuff. Really good stuff. So good I had to give it away to friends after only a couple of small(ish) samples for fear that if it stayed in the house overnight, I might ’sample’ myself into a cake-induced coma. Consider yourself warned.
If, however, you’re having friends over for an inauguration party and you make this addictive and delicious cake for dessert, you’ll probably be okay, since there won’t be any leftovers for you to raid!
You can cut this cake into squares after it cools a bit, or you can spoon it out like a cobbler while it’s hot. Either way, the texture is wonderfully moist and tender, even though you’re using only three tablespoons of oil in the entire cake. You can also cut down on the sugar by using ‘No Sugar Added’ pie fillings; they work just fine here.
For the Red Layer:
1/2 package white cake mix (I used Pillsbury Moist Supreme Classic White)
2 eggs, beaten
1 can (about 20 oz) cherry or raspberry pie filling (I used Comstock cherry filling)
For the White Layer:
1/2 package white cake mix
1 egg, beaten
3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp water
For the Blue Layer:
1 can (about 20 oz) blueberry pie filling
1 cup granola (I used cinnamon flavored), large pieces broken up
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9 by 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl, combine the first three ingredients until moistened, then beat with an electric mixer or by hand for a minute or two. Pour the batter into the baking pan and smooth it out to the edges.
Wipe out the mixing bowl. Combine the next four ingredients until moistened, then beat with an electric mixer or by hand for a minute or two, adding a little more water if batter is too thick.
Carefully pour or spoon the white batter over the red batter. Try to distribute it as evenly as possible to avoid the need for spreading too much. Place it in the oven and bake until the top is just done (lightly colored and just firm.)
Spread the blueberry pie filling evenly over the surface of the cake. Sprinkle evenly with the granola and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to rest for ten minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature, by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Serves 12 - 16.
2. Stars and Stripes Chicken
Pastina is one of my favorite things. These little stars of pasta cook up fast and are perfect in soups or with just a little butter and grated cheese. They’re also a quick fix if you’re craving risotto but don’t have the time or inclination to stand around stirring (and stirring and stirring!)
Here, they become the ’stars’ in this Stars & Stripes dish, and are enveloped in a mild and creamy blue cheese sauce. The ’stripes’ are the sweet red pepper strips and sliced grilled chicken.
Red peppers. White-meat chicken. Blue cheese. Hmmmm…this dish may have an Italian accent, but it’s quite patriotic, and makes for a delicious inauguration week dinner.
3. Pineapple Macadamia Spam Musubi
On his recent trip to Hawaii, Barack Obama grabbed a couple of Spam Musubi at a snack bar on the golf course, sending journalists from all over the world rushing madly to Wikipedia to learn just what he was eating.
But Hawaiians have long enjoyed this tasty, if somewhat improbable, snack food. It consists of sliced Spam (usually pan-fried; sometimes broiled or grilled), cooked rice (plain or dressed with sushi vinegar), and sushi nori.
Other ingredients can include furikake, tamago, or oyster sauce.
Shapes can vary, too. Most often, it resembles a giant piece of nigiri sushi, with a full slice of fried Spam on top of an outsized oval of rice, held together with a strip of nori. Maki-style Spam rolls are a common variation, but there are many creative possibilities.
Here, the basic ingredients are joined by other Hawaiian flavors in a whimsical take on a multi-layered musubi ‘terrine’ that you can serve as an appetizer or snack.
I’ve also included a variation for a back-rolled “Obamakizushi” below that would be a fun party bite.
2 cups medium-grain white rice
3-1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 can Spam, cut into 8 slices
2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce (or 1-1/2 Tbsp soy sauce mixed with 1 tsp sugar)
1/3 cup sushi vinegar (or 1/3 cup rice vinegar with 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt)
2 sheets sushi nori
1/4 cup minced scallion (green parts) or chives
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 Tbsp finely crushed macadamia nuts (mixed with the sesame for easier sprinkling)
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
Thoroughly rinse the rice and place in a saucepan with the water and the salt. Bring to a boil, stir, cover, reduce heat to very low and cook for 15 - 17 minutes or until water is absorbed.
While the rice is cooking, brush the spam slices with the teriyaki or soy sauce and broil until lightly colored.
When the rice is done, fluff with a fork or wooden spoon to release the steam. Spread on a platter and drizzle the sushi vinegar on the rice a tablespoon at a time, gently mixing it in.
Line a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving plenty of overlap on the sides. Take one sheet of the nori and lay it evenly across the bottom and up the two long sides of the loaf pan.
Divide the rice into fourths, and spread one-fourth in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the scallions, sesame seeds, and crushed macadamias onto the rice; spread another one-fourth of the rice on top. Create additional layers in the following order: 4 slices of Spam; rice; pineapple; Spam; rice. Press down evenly with a spatula to level.
Fold any extra nori from the sides of the pan onto the rice. Trim the remaining nori sheet to fit into the pan. Fold the extra plastic wrap over the nori and press down evenly with another loaf pan, block of wood, etc. to firm up the layers.
Allow to rest for 15 - 20 minutes before unmolding. Unwrap and slice using a wet knife. You can serve slices whole (like a terrine) or insert four evenly-spaced decorative toothpicks into the top of a slice and cut down between them, making four appetizer/snack portions out of each slice.
Obamakizushi Variation: (uses 4 nori sheets and additional sesame seeds):
After broiling, slice the spam into strips.
Spread 1/4 of the rice evenly on a nori sheet; sprinkle with 1/4 of the scallions and 1/4 of the sesame seed/macadamia mix (use additional seeds if desired); flip nori over and fill with spam strips (about 6) and 1/4 of the pineapple.
Use a plastic wrapped bamboo mat to back roll.
(Please see http://www.diy-sushi-recipes.com/sushi-roll.html or http://video.about.com/japanesefood/Sushi-Video.htm for how-to videos).
Let rest briefly before slicing.
4. The Barack Obama Hot Dog
The ingredients are a confluence of the various locales in Mr. Obama’s life: the pineapple links to his childhood in Hawaii; the chopped peanuts to the cuisines of his African heritage and his time in Indonesia; and Chicago is represented not only in the dill pickle, mustard, and celery salt of the city’s famous hot dogs, but also in the roasted peppers and Mexican hot sauce that symbolize his favorite Chicago restaurant, Rick Bayless’s Topolobampo.
The sweet/salty/savory/spicy/crunchy elements in this recipe work so well together, they could set an example for Congress to follow; it even uses all-beef hot dogs – to cut out the pork!
--Doug DuCap/ HuggingtheCoast.Com