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BTD Forums  /  Cook Right 4 Your Type  /  Fitting the BTD into Ethnic Cooking
Posted by: usaf (Guest), Saturday, February 24, 2007, 11:30pm
A concern that has risen for me is that I have big interst in cooking ethnic foods related to mine and my husbands ancestry. So for us that's Celtic & Germanic foods. It has become a hobby of mine I guess you'd say that's stemmed from my genealogical work. I've become quite passionate about learning the cooking, folkways & customs of my ancestors so the food being a major part of that makes me curious of how to still stay true to the diet when I make these dishes, which is not every day, I'll cook them on special occasions and maybe on weekends.

You can alter a dish a tiny bit but after too many changes it's no longer the same dish, so it makes me wonder if Sheperds Pie & Sweedish Meatballs are the same dish if you change the meat to ground turkey. Many of these dished us whole milk and butter (I refuse however to cook with lard) which neither of us are supposed to have.  Many dishes contain cheddar cheese or potatoes but my husband can have neither.

I have read link related to his area ...
http://www.dadamo.com/faq/smartfaq.cgi?answer=988814124&id=988813483

I'm not talking about food restricted by religion tho and we don't follow any of the biblical religions. Do you feel one should not worry to much since the meals are not eaten on a daily basis?


Posted by: Lola, Sunday, February 25, 2007, 2:03am; Reply: 1
it is a personal decision you need to take....
I personally would substitute every ingredient that needs substituting......and still come up with a very tasty treat!

if our ancestors knew what we know now, they would have prepared the dishes this way, also.

milk can be substituted with soy milk.....
lard, with ghee.....
potatoes with parsnips or sweet potatoes...etc
Posted by: usaf (Guest), Sunday, February 25, 2007, 2:17am; Reply: 2
That's a good way to look at it. I'm also interested in food history so I will look up recipe variations that were well known also. I just don't feel right about sacrificing the dish by changing it too much.

Thanks
Posted by: Lola, Sunday, February 25, 2007, 2:24am; Reply: 3
I am interested in creating healthy versions of ethnic food for my type, and not sacrifice my health instead.......it depends on how you see it....
if you do not have health issues, then having a meal with avoids won t be an issue.

this plan is as individualized as you want to tweak it.
Posted by: usaf (Guest), Sunday, February 25, 2007, 3:23am; Reply: 4
No we have no pending health issues at this time. Yeah I'd rather not sacrifice my health either, it's finding that happy medium that can be tricky. I'm going to email some penpals I have in Belgium & Germany and ask about variations.
Posted by: Lola, Sunday, February 25, 2007, 4:15am; Reply: 5
great......and keep us posted on your concoctions....
Posted by: gulfcoastguy, Sunday, February 25, 2007, 4:40am; Reply: 6
One thing to think of is that irish potatoes came from the Americas and didn't get to europe untill the renaissance era. They used parsnips, carrots, and turnips before then.
Posted by: usaf (Guest), Sunday, February 25, 2007, 6:41am; Reply: 7
Lola, I will try. One of my favorite sites...

http://www.foodtimeline.org/


Ee Dan, yes I know, it was the 17th century.
Posted by: ISA-MANUELA (Guest), Sunday, February 25, 2007, 8:06am; Reply: 8
::) teutonic foods ::::::::: ouch P ;) ;D .....thats not mine ;) :-/ bye-bye .......


p.s.
but must be honest, all the text is interesting to read ;D ;) (clap)(whistle)
thanx for sharing :D
Posted by: usaf (Guest), Sunday, February 25, 2007, 8:31am; Reply: 9
Yep good stuff.
Posted by: koahiatamadl, Sunday, February 25, 2007, 1:08pm; Reply: 10
If taste is your primary concern I think you will find adequate BTD friendly substitutes.  

If on the other hand historic accuracy is your main concern you're probably stuck with eating avoids if you choose to eat these dishes.  

But it is worth remembering that food was a scarce resource for our ancestors and that availability would have dictated what people ate more than what a recipe called for! So I doubt that there is such a thing as a pure, unadulterated recipe...  
Posted by: Brighid45, Sunday, February 25, 2007, 2:16pm; Reply: 11
We cook certain foods on celebration days in our household. Because we only eat them one day a year, I don't worry too much about substitutions but will make a few, mainly for avoids like pork. For example, we eat colcannon on Samhain and Imbolc. Colcannon is usually made with white potatoes, cabbage and onions fried in bacon grease. I have substituted kale for cabbage and ghee for bacon grease with only minor changes in taste--actually I like colcannon BETTER with kale, it's much tastier! :) Undoubtedly turnips, parsnips etc would make a good sub for potatoes as well, I haven't tried them yet as I'm still learning to like some root veggies. ;)

If you are eating ethnic foods more frequently than once or twice a year, then do some experimenting and see what you like. With Celtic cooking, I've found that ghee and turkey sausage or bacon are good subs for pork, kale is generally good in place of cabbage (depending on the recipe), and so on. There are even some old recipes that are good for you, like kale soup and tweed kettle.

Experimentation is the key. All traditions had to begin as new ideas somewhere along the way. :)

p.s. For cottage pie, try using dark meat. Turkey thighs and drumsticks have a strong flavor that stands up well to the other ingredients. I chop the meat up and fry it with the onions, carrots etc in ghee until nearly cooked through, then add in the other ingredients, top with mashed potatoes, and bake. Again, you could try mashed turnips or parsnips in place of white potatoes and probably be a lot closer to the original recipe our ancestors ate hundreds of years ago :)
Posted by: usaf (Guest), Sunday, February 25, 2007, 10:14pm; Reply: 12
Quoted from Brighid45
We cook certain foods on celebration days in our household. Because we only eat them one day a year, I don't worry too much about substitutions but will make a few, mainly for avoids like pork. For example, we eat colcannon on Samhain and Imbolc. Colcannon is usually made with white potatoes, cabbage and onions fried in bacon grease. I have substituted kale for cabbage and ghee for bacon grease with only minor changes in taste--actually I like colcannon BETTER with kale, it's much tastier! :) Undoubtedly turnips, parsnips etc would make a good sub for potatoes as well, I haven't tried them yet as I'm still learning to like some root veggies. ;)

If you are eating ethnic foods more frequently than once or twice a year, then do some experimenting and see what you like. With Celtic cooking, I've found that ghee and turkey sausage or bacon are good subs for pork, kale is generally good in place of cabbage (depending on the recipe), and so on. There are even some old recipes that are good for you, like kale soup and tweed kettle.

Experimentation is the key. All traditions had to begin as new ideas somewhere along the way. :)

p.s. For cottage pie, try using dark meat. Turkey thighs and drumsticks have a strong flavor that stands up well to the other ingredients. I chop the meat up and fry it with the onions, carrots etc in ghee until nearly cooked through, then add in the other ingredients, top with mashed potatoes, and bake. Again, you could try mashed turnips or parsnips in place of white potatoes and probably be a lot closer to the original recipe our ancestors ate hundreds of years ago :)


Stupid cpu just ate my whole response to you. Geesh, anyways in short all turkey here is frozen so if you can get some that isn't already freezer burnt, wings, thighs, strips and whole are my choices. I've not seen ghee anywhere and I can get kale. I'm going to go thru my Belgian, German and Celtic cookbooks and start looking for recipes that are mostly compliant from the start then work with the others later.

Thanks for the reply and yes I want to learn to cook with roots also. In between college essays I'm going to try to do more reading on food and recipe histories.
Posted by: Brighid45, Monday, February 26, 2007, 12:15am; Reply: 13
You are more than welcome for any help I can offer :) Whole turkeys are nice because you can roast the whole bird, then pick the carcass and use the bits for cottage pie and soup. But whatever you can get should work nicely. Even the strips, if they're unbreaded, can be used in all sorts of ways. I wish we could get more thighs here, they are great barbecued--built-in holder and all! ;)

You can make your own ghee if you have access to real butter (not margarine or butter blends). Unsalted is best, but you can use salted as well. It's not hard to make--check the Cook Right forum here on the board for the sticky thread on making ghee. I make my own and have come to prefer it to butter now. And it's good for you too. :)

I'm just starting to like the taste of turnips and parsnips. For Celts they were the traditional root vegetables used before the introduction of white potatoes in the 17th century. I've used them in stews and soups and they are yummy, I just haven't tried them mashed yet.
Posted by: Lola, Monday, February 26, 2007, 7:41am; Reply: 14
thanks usaf for the link!
Posted by: ABJoe, Monday, February 26, 2007, 8:36pm; Reply: 15
I really like mashed parsnips with a bit of ghee...  They are more moist than potatoes and not quite as creamy, but the flavor is great...  I haven't tried them in a casserole calling for mashed potatoes, yet...  
Posted by: Alia Vo, Monday, February 26, 2007, 10:13pm; Reply: 16
Because this lifestyle can be catered specifically to each of our own needs, one can take literally any recipe and substitute the 'original' ingredient(s) for compliant ingredient(s) appropriate for one's blood type and personal ethnic, cultural, taste preferences.

Alia
Posted by: Brighid45, Monday, February 26, 2007, 10:50pm; Reply: 17
Yes Alia--exactly. I grew up eating some great Celtic recipes, like rumbledethumps and tea scones. It's fun to make the recipes more compliant and then find out not only are they better for me, they actually taste better too!

The only hurdle I've yet to cross is to find a good pasty crust. Pasties, brideys and so on need a sturdy crust that stands up to the baking/steaming they go through in the oven. I've worked on it now and then, but anything made with no gluten just doesn't survive. The experiments are still okay to eat though :)
Posted by: jayney-O (Guest), Monday, February 26, 2007, 11:16pm; Reply: 18
what are rumbledethumps? Great name!!!
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