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Published: Tuesday, 11/8/2011

Presidential recipes for an election day


In the spirit of Election Day, we note the impending publication of a cookbook that features recipes from many of the presidents’ families.

A White House Garden Cookbook: Healthy Ideas from the First Family to Your Family, by Clara Silverstein, includes recipes for Martha Washington’s Great Cake, Thomas Jefferson’s Pea Soup, James Monroe’s Gumbo. Newer recipes include Hillary Clinton’s Spice Fruit Bars and Laura and George W. Bush’s Guacamole.

The book will not come out in book form until next April, though it is now available as an e-book.

However, because of the interest in Tuesday’s election, we thought it appropriate to run two recipes that are in it, one from each side of the political aisle:

Barack Obama’s Chili
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 large onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeds removed, chopped

Several cloves of garlic, chopped (see cook’s note)

1 pound ground turkey or beef

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground basil

1 tablespoon chili powder

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Several fresh tomatoes, depending on size OR 1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes with juice

1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans

Cook’s note: The president suggests starting with 4 cloves of garlic and 2 cups of chopped fresh tomatoes. You can substitute 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped oregano and 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped basil for those two dried herbs on the ingredient list.

In a pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, green pepper, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are soft. Add the ground meat and sauté until it browns.

In a small bowl, mix together the cumin, oregano, turmeric, basil, and chili powder. Add to the ground meat. Add the red wine vinegar to the pot and stir to combine.

Chop the tomatoes and add to the pot. Simmer until the tomatoes cook down.

Drain the kidney beans and rinse with cold water. Add the beans and cook for a few more minutes.

Serve over white or brown rice. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, onions, and sour cream.

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ronald Reagan’s Hamburger Soup
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 pound lean ground beef

1 cup diced onions

1 clove garlic, chopped

3/4 cup sliced carrots

1 cup sliced celery

1/2 cup diced green pepper

6 cups beef broth, beef stock, or water with 4 beef bouillon cubes

8 ounces (1 cup) diced tomatoes (fresh or canned, including the juice)

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 ounces canned hominy, drained

In a soup pot, melt the butter. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until it browns.

Add the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and green pepper. Cover the pot and simmer 10 minutes.

Add the beef broth, stock or water with bouillon cubes, along with the tomatoes and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and let the soup simmer for 35 minutes.

Stir in the drained hominy. Simmer for 10 minutes more.

Yield: 6 servings

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