Bing Crosby's Ambrosia
3 large navel oranges
3 ripe bananas
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut
1 tsp. sugar (or 1/2 cup marshmallow bits)
Peel and section oranges. Slice bananas. Combine oranges, bananas and pineapple. Add sugar (or marshmallows). Chill well. Serve with your store of Christmas cookies, topped with coconut and marshmallows.
Bing Crosby's Breakfast Quail
12 cleaned quails, each weighing 5-6 ozs.
1 egg mixed with a few drops of milk
Separate breast from back and leg sections, flatten back and leg sections with hands, breaking at the hip joint (or pound with milk bottle). Butterfly breasts to remove bones, flatten slightly. Dip breasts, back and leg pieces in egg-milk mixture, roll in seasoned flour. Heat butter in large skillet. Fry pieces quickly, about 3 minutes, and drain on absorbent paper. Place quail on rack in roasting pan in preheated 200 degrees F. oven. Leave oven door open so if they are not done inside, they will cook through. Serve with "thickenin' gravy" made by adding seasoned flour to pan drippings. Stir until smooth over low heat. Add milk gradually, cook over low fire until thick and smooth. Taste to correct seasonings. Serve with quail and hot biscuits. Serves 3-4.
Thoughts: Quail can be shot in season or purchased through specialty game shops. Mrs. Crosby advises: "Cook quickly or quail will get as tough as shoe leather."
Bing Crosby's Buckwheat Pancakes
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking powder
2 large eggs
About 1 3/4 cups milk
3 tbsps. melted butter
Sift together buckwheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder into mixing bowl. Beat eggs well and stir into melted butter. Add egg-milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until smooth. Heat griddle until very hot; lightly grease with butter (wipe off excess with paper towel, being careful not to burn fingers). Ladle batter onto hot skillet. Cook until pancakes are firm on edges and bubbles begin to appear; turn quickly to brown on reverse side. Serve at once with crisp bacon, pork sausage patties, link sausages or fried ham. Makes about 16 five-inch cakes.
Thoughts: Melted butter, strained honey, maple syrup or favorite jam or marmalade make good toppings for buckwheat cakes.
Bing Crosby's Christmas Venison
For the marinade:
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 shallots, peeled and chopped
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and minced
1 sprig of fresh thyme (or dry)
8 crushed peppercorns
3 juniper berries (or large crumbled bay leaf)
1 tsp. salt
1 stalk of pascal celery with leaves, crushed
1 cup of white wine vinegar
1 bottle dry white wine
1/3 cup fine-grade olive oil
Combine all ingredients. Mix well and set aside.
To prepare venison:
10 lb. roast aged venison (saddle, loin or haunch)
1 1/2 lbs. salt pork (or suet)
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. chopped onion
1 clove of pressed garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pan vegetables: 3 carrots (peeled and sliced), 3 stalks of celery with leaves (chopped) and 2 onions (peeled and chopped)
3 tbsps. sweet butter
Larded venison can be purchased on order from fancy butcher. To "lard" venison at home, cut salt pork (or suet) into long strips; cut strips into pieces about 3-inches long. Roll strips in herb mixture of parsley, onion and pressed garlic; let stand several hours. Thread larding needles, stitch strips at 1-inch intervals onto the roast, drawing needle with the grain of the meat. Place in large bowl (or crock); cover with marinade. Cover bowl tightly; refrigerate 3 days (or longer), turning meat in marinade 3 times daily. Allow meat to reach room temperature. Wipe dry, salt and pepper well. Place on rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in center of meat (be sure it does not strike bone). Place uncovered in preheated 450 degrees F. oven for 15 minutes and 350 degrees F. for remaining time. Allow 15 minutes per pound (or until thermometer registers 130 degrees). Halfway through roasting time, add pan vegetables. Baste venison every 20 minutes during cooking time. Strain marinade and bring to boil in small saucepan. Add butter, heat to melt. Boil rapidly for a few minutes. Use to baste until sauce is used up, then pan juices. Remove roast to heated platter, discard vegetables. Let stand 15 minutes before carving. Serves 8-10 generously.
Bing Crosby's Pan-Fried Duck
2 whole breasts from 2 mallard ducks, weighing 2 1/2 to 3 lbs. each
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Stick of sweet butter
Cut breasts in half, sprinkle on all sides with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in heavy skillet (or Dutch oven) over high heat. Fry breasts quickly on both sides (about 7 minutes or longer per side, depending on size of breasts). Do not overcook breasts. Remove to heated platter. Serve at once with wild rice (made with duck giblets steamed with 1 1/2 cups water, half of a small onion, 1 celery top and salt to taste). Serve with mint jelly and good red wine. Serves 4.
Thoughts: It is helpful to use half lard and half butter to prevent breasts from burning.