With a title like “The Hamilton Cookbook” it would be fair to assume that this book is about Alexander Hamilton and the cooking, eating and entertaining during that time. The book in fact is partly about Hamilton, his life before he moved to America, his life during the revolutionary war era and his political and private life. And the book is also about food and culture during those times. The author, Laura Kumin, takes us on a journey. We get to know the man who was a poet, political philosopher, a lawyer, a military hero and a family man while also showing us the sides of him that were inconsistent and somewhat flawed.
My favorite part of the book is the Timeline of Alexander Hamilton’s life where Kumin’s brilliant research shines through. She captures the major events during Hamilton’s life along with events in food and history. Events like when did Hamilton serve George Washington ice-cream at dinner? Or when was commercially made ice-cream first advertised. And also some of the lesser known facts about Hamilton, like he founded Bank of New York.
When you look at History with the eye of a food writer, you get a book like “The Hamilton Cookbook”. What did they eat during those times? Was food scarce? Did they have restaurants? How did they entertain? What did they serve at parties? How was the food cooked? What kind of stoves did they have? Did they even have dining rooms?
Kumin presents concise and well researched chapters to The Kitchen, Cooking Equipment, Food Storage, and then Eating and Entertaining including sample menus from that time and a probable list of invitees to the Hamilton’s dinner parties. There are 22 recipes in the book reflecting what people might have eaten around that time. Kumin shares original and adapted recipes to reflect present times and ingredients available.
For the History buffs, or Hamilton fans this is a fun book and will make a great Holiday Present. Buy it here (Not an affiliate link)
For my post today, I chose to share the recipe of the Salmagundy Salad. Salamagundy Salad is a layered salad that begins with meat at the bottom and greens on the top most layer. I substituted preserved lemons for the fresh ones suggested in the recipe. Also instead of mincing everything, I decided to leave everything in smaller chunks or in case of lemons – thin julienne. I had a hard time choosing just one recipe to share. Finally I decided to share the salad because it is a great make ahead meal and Salads that have multiple ingredients are favorite. Like this Gado Gado salad from Indonesia.
Salamagundy means a collection of ingredients in case of a salad. Here we have chicken, anchovies eggs etc mixed into one delicious salad
- 1 chicken Roasted, cut into bite size pcs
- 6 eggs hard boiled, peeled separately chop the whites and yolks
- 2 oz anchovies, cut into small dice
- 2 preserved Lemons Juice removed and reserved cut into juliennes
- 2/3 cup sweet pickle chips
- 3-6 oz Arugula
- 6 oz baby spinach
- 6 oz lemon Juice, use some from the preserved lemons
- 6 oz extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon Mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt
- f freshly ground pepper
Whisk the oil, salt, mustard and pepper along with the lemon juice together until completely emulsified.
Place the chicken in layer at the bottom of a mason jar. You will need multiple mason jars to use all the chicken and salad ingredients
Add in the egg yolks, then the egg whites, anchovies, lemon juliennes, pickles and then top with the greens.
If not serving immediately, screw on the lid and refrigerate.
To serve, add in the dressing over the top of the salad.
The recipe uses a precooked chicken. You can use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store or a leftover poached or baked chicken.
The time to make this recipe only includes time to cook the eggs. I cooked the eggs in my pressure cooker. Your total time will vary .