This past week I made my most exciting historical cookbook purchase to date – Last Dinner on the Titanic. In the past I have seen replicas of Titanic menus and always wondered how awesome would it be to have the opportunity to try some of these foods – well now I can!
The Last Dinner on the Titanic provides a wealth of information about dining on the Titanic. All of the recipes provided are based on the actual options available on the menu during the last dinner on board Titanic. There is information about each of the class’s dining rooms and descriptions of the type of foods served. The food served even aboard steerage sound pretty good. They also provide information about how to pull together a recreated last dinner on board Titanic – complete with menu, beverage choices, suggestions of when to begin your cooking, linens to use etc. There also are suggestions of how you can modify the menus for modern tastes and also ease of purchasing ingredients. I will be using this cookbook for a long time.
The first recipe that I chose is from the First Class menu – Vegetable Marrow Farci – which I had no idea what that was. This would have represented a 4th course entrée on the last dinner aboard Titanic before she struck the iceberg. In case you have never heard of vegetable marrow (which I had not), it is a relative of the zucchini. According to food.com – vegetable marrow “has a very bland flavor and can be stuffed with meat stuffing. Best when eaten young and not over boiled. Vegetable marrow has a sweet and nutty flavor”. I selected this recipe because we were looking for a meatless dish.
Vegetable Marrow Farci
Makes 6 servings
1 vegetable marrow (or 2 large zucchini)
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 ½ cups button mushrooms, chopped
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2/3 cup cooked rice
¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1) Halve the marrow lengthwise; scoop out the flesh with a spoon leaving ¼ inch shell. Discard large seeds. Chop scooped flesh into small dice and reserve.
2) In skillet, heat oil over medium heat; add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 7 to 8 minutes or until softened and lightly browned. Stir in basil, oregano, reserved marrow, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes; increase heat to high and add mushrooms. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until vegetables are well browned; stir in vinegar. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in rice, salt, pepper, and 3 tablespoons of cheese.
3) Spoon into hollowed vegetables, packing lightly with back of a spoon. Sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs and remaining cheese; drizzle with butter. Place in a greased baking dish in a 350°F oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until marrow is fork-tender and topping is well browned.
4) To serve, slice marrow diagonally in 3-inch slices. Garnish with fresh basil.
Traditionalists would use vegetable marrow and short-grain rice – however I followed the substitutions and used zucchinis and white rice (you can also use sushi rice or long-grain rice just fine). I eliminated the mushrooms, because neither my boyfriend nor I like them. I also would advocate using slightly less red wine vinegar. I used about 1 ½ tablespoons and it was still a little more vinegary than I would have liked.
This dish came out so delicious – my boyfriend has requested that we have this frequently when we decide to make a meatless dish. The zucchini came out so tender and the filling was delicate and tasty. If you wanted to add chicken it would easily mix in for some added protein.
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