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The best of Ebony: date with a dish.

In connection with our celebration of Ebony's 50th anniversary, we are featuring some of the favorite recipes that have been presented over the years. Freda DeKnight was Ebony's first food editor, and part of her claim to fame was her creation of delicious Fruit Cakes, many of which were made each Christmas and given to advertisers as gifts from the company. Ma Williams' Crab Cakes is another favorite recipe that came from Mrs. Gertrude Johnson William, the mother of EBONY Publisher John H. Johnson. These are just two of the recipes that are being featured this month, all of which are considered to be among the all-time favorites.


2 cups uncooked prunes 4 cups citron 4 cups seedless raisins 4 cups candied cherries 1 cup candied pineapple 1/2 cup candied lemon peel 1 cup candied orange peel 1 cup pecan halves 1 cup broken walnut meats 2 cups brandy or wine 5 cups sifted all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon 2 teaspoons ground cloves 2 teaspoon ground mace 1 teaspoon ground allspice 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 pound butter, softened 2 cups sugar 1 cup brown sugar 10 eggs, well beaten 1 tablespoon vanilla 1 tablespoon grated orange rind

Pour boiling water over prunes, cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain, dry and cut from pits. Chop in very small pieces. Combine fruit, nuts and peelings. Pour brandy over fruit mixture. Let stand for 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Sift flour, salt and baking powder together. Cream butter, sugars and spices-until fluffy. Add beaten eggs and mix thoroughly. Add flour prepared fruit mixture, vanilla and orange rind, stirring until fruits are well mixed. Pour batter into three greased wax-paper-lined 9x5x3 loaf pans. Smooth tops of cakes and decorate if desired. Bake in not-too-hot oven, 275 to 285 degrees for 3 hours or until done. Test with wooden pick for doneness, before removing from oven. Cake may be served as soon as it's cool, but it improves if ripened a few days longer.

Yields 3 fruit cakes


1 tablespoon butter 1/4 cup finely chopped onion 1/3 cup finely chopped green pepper 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery 1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs 1 egg, slightly beaten 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 pound crab meat 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon thyme 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper

Melt butter in 10-inch skillet. Cook and stir onion, green pepper and celery until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Add bread crumbs and mix well. Combine beaten egg and mayonnaise in large bowl. Add vegetables and bread-crumb mixture, crab meat and seasoning; mix thoroughly. Shape into about 12 patties and place on wax paper. Fry in hot, deep vegetable oil at 375 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with tartar sauce and lemon.

Yields 6 servings


2 tablespoons pickle spices 1 stick cinnamon 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup water 1 cup vinegar 1 teaspoon salt

Grated rind of 1 lemon 5 pounds fresh peeled peaches

Place spices in cheesecloth bag or thin white cloth. Mix vinegar, sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Add lemon rind and spices. Boil for 15 minutes. Remove rind and spice bag. Wash and peel peaches, leave whole or cut in half, and remove seeds. Drop fruit into hot syrup. Cook for 10 minutes. Seal in jars which have been sterilized. Be sure the syrup fills jars to top.


4 dressed farm-raised catfish

(about 7 ounces each) 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 cup skim milk 1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted

Vegetable cooking spray

Move oven rack to position slightly above middle of oven. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine cornmeal, bread crumbs, salt, paprika, pepper and garlic powder. Dip fish into milk; coat with cornmeal mixture. Place fish in 13x9x2-inch rectangular pan coated with vegetable cooking spray. Drizzle melted margarine over fish. Bake uncovered until fish flakes very easily with fork, about 17 minutes.

Yields 4 servings


Vegetable cooking spray 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon paprika 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 spoon pepper 2 1/2- to 3-pound broiler-fryer chicken 1/4 cup melted margarine or butter

Coat rectangular pan with cooking Mix flour and seasonings. Coat chicken with flour mixture. Place skin side down in pan. Drizzle melted margarine over chicken. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn chicken; bake until thickest pieces are done, 30 minutes.

Yields 6 servings


2 1/2- to 3-pound broiler-fryer chicken 1 cup bottled barbecue sauce 1 tablespoon honey 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Place chicken, skin side up, in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches. Mix remaining ingredients; pour over chicken. Cover and bake in 375-degree oven for 30 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken; bake uncovered until thickest pieces are done, about 30 minutes longer or until done.

Yields 6 servings


2 10-ounce packages frozen blackeyed

peas 3/4 cup bottled Italian salad dressing 2 teaspoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 1/2 cup sliced celery 1/2 cup chopped green pepper 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Lettuce leaves

Cook as directed on package; drain. Shake Italian dressing, sugar and crushed red pepper in tightly covered container. Combine cooked peas, dressing, celery, green pepper, red pepper, onions, parsley, salt and pepper. Chill. Serve on lettuce leaves.

Yields 6 servings


1 cup sour cream 1/4 cup milk 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened 1 3/4 cups sugar 2 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon almond extract 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt, optional

Combine sour cream and milk; set aside. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 round, 9x1 1/2-inch pans. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract in large mixer bowl until fluffy. Beat on high speed, scraping bowl occasionally, 5 minutes. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; and to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool layers for 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely. Fill and frost layers with Caramel Frosting.

Yields 1 cake


3 cups sugar, divided 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 cup milk 3/4 cup butter or margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla

Sprinkle 1/2 cup sugar m a shallow, heavy 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven; place over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and syrup is light golden brown. Remove from heat.

Combine remaining 2 1/2 cups sugar and flour, stirring well; add milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Gradually pour one-fourth hot mixture into caramelized sugar, stirring constantly; add remaining hot mixture (mixture mill lump, but continue stirring until smooth).

Return to heat. Cover mixture; cook over low heat for 2 minutes. Uncover and cook (without stirring) over medium heat until candy thermometerheat reaches 238 degrees. Add butter, stirring to blend. Remove from heat and cool without stirring until temperature drops to 110 degrees (about 1 hour). Add vanilla and beat with wooden spoon or with an electric hand mixer until it is of spreading consistency.



3/4 cup butter or margarine 2/3 cup sugar 2 cups all-purpose flour 1/4 cup milk


1/4 cup sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch 3/4 cup fresh orange juice


1 8-ounce package cream cheese,

softened 1/4 cup sugar 2 tablespoons sour cream 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Strawberries, cut in half Sliced peaches Blueberries Grapes Or your choice of fruit

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Beat butter and sugar in small mixer bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy (1 to 2 minutes). Gradually add flour and milk; mix until thoroughly combined. Press dough out onto 12-inch round pizza pan to form crust. Bake for 13 to 18 minutes or until light and golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Meanwhile, prepare glaze. Combine sugar and cornstarch; blend well in 1-quart saucepan. Add juice; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 to 2 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

For cheese topping, beat cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and lemon rind in small bowl of electric mixer until smooth. Spoon onto cool pie crust. Arrange fruit on cheese mixture. Drizzle glaze over fruit. Cut into wedges to serve.

Yields 8 servings
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Author:Lyons, Charlotte
Date:Aug 1, 1995
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