Cooking Like It Was 1943

 In a previous blog, I wrote about the wartime 1943 edition of "Joy of Cooking." The team decided to try some of the hors' d'oeuvres and canapes listed there, designed to conserve food valued for the war effort and use available ingredients. I wanted to experience some of impact of World War II on the American kitchen. The recipes were remarkably tasty!
We dug into the chapter on Canapes and Sandwiches. Certainly part of the appeal of the Nicer Slicer is it gives you more control over the texture and size of bread, particularly toast. We made three different recipes and I could not help but to think about the history of these recipes and the reality of rationing. We were all stunned with how good they were. Like everything we prepare, the recipes we photograph have to be edible and worth sharing with our visitors.

Cheese and Bacon pinwheel Hors d'oeuvres 

preparing bacon and cheese hors d'oeuvres with Nicer Slicer
Joy of Cooking cheese and bacon hors d'oeuvres
 These were great on Tomato Basil bread from Panera. Toasted, squared off and slicered in the Nicer Slicer. We got the bread sliced at Panera's widest setting.
Trim the crust from a loaf of fresh white bread. Cut bacon strips into 1/3 pieces and bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes. It took some experimentation to determine the right amount of bacon- too much made the pinwheels too greasy...Just the right amount made them crunchy and delicious.
Toast bread, trim off crust and slicer in the Nicer Slicer
Spread cream cheese or grated cheese onto slicered bread
Surround the slices with narrow strips of bacon
Toast in a moderate oven (375) until the bacon is crisp.

Toasted Roquefort Cheese Canapes

Open faced Roqufort sandwich with Nicer Slicer
These were excellent. We roasted pecans and made the cheese mixture the night before. Overnight in the fridge flavors melded together. We did these open-faced.
1 (3 oz.) package soft cream cheese
3 tablespoons or more Roquefort cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnut or pecan meats
Cut the crusts from thin slices of bread, toast and slicer in The Nicer Slicer. Assemble and serve.

Chicken, Ham and Olive Spread Sandwiches

preparing ham chicken and olive sandwich with Nicer Slicer
Ham, chicken and olive spread sandwiches on a plate
My word, these sandwiches were "the bomb!" The 1943 edition of this Joy of Cooking recipe calls for "boiled ham" which we interpreted to be country or salt cured.ham. We baked some prosciutto ham at 375 for about 10 minutes to crisp it up. We also cooked chicken tenders in a crock pot with chicken stock. We pulsed the chicken with about 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise in a food processor until it was smooth enough to spread. This was excellent on toasted, slicered, Tomato Basil bread from Panera with peppery arugula salad on one side of a sandwich.  We decided to add a little mayonnaise to top the arugula. These really were outstanding.
Toasted bread, slicered 
1 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
1 cup finely chopped boiled ham (or substitute grilled prosciutto)
1/2 cup finely chopped green olives
Well seasoned mayonnaise
Fortunately, most of us grew up in America never having experienced wartime shortages or rationing. It was interesting to imagine how these recipes evolved and how they came to be included in this third edition of Joy of Cooking. Do you have canapes or sandwich recipes you think might be well suited to using The Nicer Slicer? If so, please share in the comment area below.
"Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon."
Doug Larson

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