There are some recipes that, to practice the art of being a Marblehead,
well, you just have to know. Here are some, but not all.
1. MARBLEHEAD LOBSTER STEW
Court bouillon: In a large enamel or stainless steel pot, combine:
6 cups of cold water
3 cups good dry white wine
2 finely-chopped onions
a bay leaf
one-half teaspoon thyme
3 0r 4 parsley stems
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
6 white peppercorns
Bring slowly to a boil, and simmer, uncovered for 30 minutes. Strain the court bouillon and return to the pot.
Bring the strained court bouillon to a boil and place 2 or 3 1 1/4 pound lobsters head first into the boil fluid. Cover tightly, and cook briskly without boiling over for 12 to 15 minutes. Test one of the lobsters for doneness, and if cooked, transfer the lobsters to a dish. Reserved the cooking fluid
As soon as the lobsters are cool enough to handle, twist off the claws and tail, crack the claws in 1 or 2 places and remove the meat. Turn the lobster on its back, cut the soft underside lengthwise with a sharp knife or kitchen shears. Remove the meat from the tail and from the body as much as possible. Discard the stomach and intestinal vein, but reserve the tomally (the green liver). Cut the meat into 1/2 inch pieces and set aside.
Cut the shells into 3 or 4-inch pieces and return to the reserved cooking fluid. Bring to a boil, and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes. Strain the shells and liquid through a sieve lined with dampened cheesecloth. Return the liquid to a clean pot, and reduce over high heat to 2 cups.
Force the tomally through a fine sieve into a medium-sized bowl and blend with three egg yolks. Add four cups light cream to the reduced stew base and slowly bring to a simmer. Slowly add some of the hot liquid to the egg yolk and tomally mixture, being careful not to let it become too hot or the yolks will curdle. Add the warmed egg yolk and tomally to the stew liquid. Add the lobster meat and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Serve with a crusty French bread. Serves 6.
2. MUSCOBE FISH CHOWDER
(left) The Captain of the Muscobe, Joel P. Gleason, Sr. and (right) The proud and mighty Muscobe.
1-1/2 to 2 pounds of fish (Haddock preferable, or cusk)
Boil potatoes in saucepan, apprx. 10 minutes, but do not cook
Next time, for variety, instead of salt pork, crunch up &
add one or two
3. THE ORIGINAL "Lily Pad-Shaped"
JOE FROGGER Cookie
7 cups of flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespooon fresh ginger
1 teaspoon each: clove, fresh nutmeg, allspice
Combine ingredients in 3/4 cup of hot water with 1/4 cup of rum.
Combine 2 teaspoons baking soda with 2 cups of very dark molasses
Cream (mix together thoroughly) 1 cup of shortening and 2 cups of sugar
Add sifted ingredients, the water-rum mix, and the molasses mix to the creamed mixture.
Chill the dough.
Roll out 1/4" thick on floured board, cut with a 4" diameter cutter.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.
One may vary the rum to water ratio as the mood or season dictates.
HISTORICAL NOTE: Named for Revolutionary War patriot, Joseph Brown, these large cookies were said to be the size of the frogs in "Black Joe's" Pond. Marblehead's early fishermen used to take the cookies with them on long voyages to the Grand Banks as a standard part of the ship's provisions. The ingredients of rum and seawater acted as preservatives. They are now a cherished Marblehead tradition with "original recipes" circulating rapidly for historic authenication by native Marbleheaders. The cookies were first made in the 1800's by Lucretia Brown, Joseph's wife. While today the cookies are mostly round, in the beginning they were described as "lily pad" shaped.
4. MARBLEHEAD SKILLET SODA BREAD
Time 1.5 hours
Butter for greasing plan plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 sups buttermilk
2 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups raisins or currants
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and line with parchment or waxed paper.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in the raisins or currants and caraway seeds.
3. Pour batter into skillet. Bruch top with remaining butter. Bake until golden and firm to touch, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes before slicing.
If you like, cut some tart apples into slices and slice some good, aged cheddar cheese and serve with the soda bread.
5. MARBLEHEAD FIRE CHILI
Time: 5 to 7 hours
7 to 8 Habinaro chilis
6 Sabrenno chilis
6 Red chili peppers
Jalapenos to taste
A lot of ground chili pepper
1.5 pounds of not lean hamburger
.5 pound of ground pork
One cup of fresh salsa
One large onion
Salt and black pepper
Up to 2 quarts of water
All chilis should be only cut once in half and once more in half, that's it. Leave all seeds on.
Brown hamburger and pork in a large skillet. Remove most of the grease.
Add onion, salt and black pepper as you brown.
Generously coat browned meat with ground red chili pepper until completely coated and covered. (More than you may think is wise to add.)
Add all chili peppers
Simmer for 5 to 7 hours, adding water continuously as chili thickens. Keep your eye closely on the pan so it doesn't burn. If you have to stop the simmering and resume later that's okay. But the full time will render postitive digestive results if you know what we mean.
Serve with fresh bread and butter, and lots of ice water for drinks. When first tasted the usual comment is, "Are you nuts?" But as you courageously proceed you will see what we love about this Marbehead traditional dish, concocted to commemorate the famous fires that burnt Marblehead to the ground ... twice.
Serves two generously.
6. MARBLEHEAD MACAROONS
20 minutes to make, 20 minutes to bake
1/2 cuo eggs whites, room temperature
7. MARBLEHEAD RAW OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES
8. THE BEST SALSA YOU'VE EVER TASTED