Food & Drink

Last call: Send recipes for holiday cookbook

For National Taco Day on Friday, consider chef Aarón  Sánchez's zesty fish tacos topped with cabbage and tangerine slaw.
For National Taco Day on Friday, consider chef Aarón Sánchez's zesty fish tacos topped with cabbage and tangerine slaw.

It's last call for recipes for our Holiday Cookbook, to be published in November. We're in need of side dishes and salads. If you have a favorite, send to Sharon Thompson, Lexington Herald-Leader, 100 Midland Avenue, Lexington, Ky. 40508, or email to

'Kentucky Kitchen' draws on centuries of cooking

University of Kentucky archivist Deirdre Scaggs and Lexington chef Andrew McGraw share a common interest: food and Kentucky history. While doing research at UK Libraries Special Collections, the two found a recipe that led them to compile a cookbook of Kentucky recipes from the archives.

Most of the recipes they chose for The Historic Kentucky Kitchen: Traditional Recipes for Today's Cook, (University Press of Kentucky, $29.95) are adapted from handwritten recipes, or clippings pasted in scrapbooks, and historic Kentucky cookbooks.

"We thought it was important to focus on the handwritten recipes; they seemed more cherished, more likely to have been used to prepare food in Kentucky homes, and more traditional or authentic to Kentucky's food history," the authors wrote in the introduction.

McGraw, who is sous chef at The County Club restaurant, and Scaggs selected recipes for the book to "represent the culinary diversity of the area and fulfill our desire to preserve Kentucky history through regional recipes."

They looked at important Kentucky manuscript recipe collections, ranging from around the 1790s to the 1960s. Recipes were found in the Scott D. Breckinridge Jr. Collection, Henry Clay Memorial Foundation Papers, John Sherman Cooper Collection, English Family Papers, William D. Funkhouser Papers, Frances Jewell McVey Papers and Seaton Family Papers.

Recipes include Josephine Funkhouser's tomato aspic salad, circa 1920s-1930s; Seaton Family's cherry tart, circa 1880s; Lucy Hayes Breckinridge's creamy omelet, early 1900s; Nannie Clay McDowell's burgoo, 1882; Louise Ludlow Dudley's dish of beef, 1876; Mary M. Peter's pound cake, 1889; and John Sherman Cooper's preferred comfort food (eggs Somerset).

Flavor incorporated

Stuarto's Olive Oil Co. and The Club at Spindletop Hall are having a class on cooking with flavored olive oils, vinegars, sugars, and sea salts at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The class will be at Spindletop, 3414 Ironworks Pike. The cost is $38. Call (859) 263-0088.

Chefs Ed Valente and Timothy Wood will demonstrate how to take fresh mozzarella curd to make the first course: pesto-filled fresh mozzarella marinara with Tuscan oil and toasted batard slices, and roasted garlic sea salt. Other menu items include crab and tomato aspic, Dijon- and parmesan-crusted pork loin, root vegetable purée, and pumpkin and toasted pecan bread pudding.

Bourbon winners

"Bourbon sling" and "palm breeze" will be the official cocktails of the Bourbon Women Association for one year, as winners of the Not Your Pink Drink contest.

Bobby Ridenour of Rivue Restaurant and Lounge in Louisville won the professional division with her bourbon sling cocktail, and Marla Zimmerman of Louisville won the amateur division with palm breeze. The winners were announced last month at the 2013 Kentucky Bourbon Festival's Any Way She Likes It event in Bardstown. Recipes are at

A Hanukkah hybrid

For the first time since Thanksgiving became a legal holiday, the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah coincides with Thanksgiving this year.

The first day of Hanukkah falls on the same day of Thanksgiving, which this year is Nov. 28. For ideas on what to serve for "Thanksgivukah," chef and cookbook author Jamie Geller has teamed with Manischewitz to create recipes that take advantage of the culinary offerings of both holidays.

According to a new release from Manischewitz, the unique coexistence of holidays is due to the differences between the Jewish calendar, which is based on lunar cycles, and the secular calendar. The secular calendar always has Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. Hanukkah is celebrated on the same Jewish calendar dates, but because of the differences in the calendars, it falls on different secular dates each year. All of the details and differences surrounding the Jewish and secular calendars have resulted in the early arrival of Hanukkah, with the first day being Thanksgiving.

Manischewitz is holding a recipe contest Oct. 28 through Nov. 10, and consumers are asked to create and submit their own Thanksgivukah recipes. Go to A free Manischewitz Recipe & Holiday Guide app includes hundreds of kosher recipes.

Taco celebration

The taco is so popular that it has its own holiday.

National Taco Day is Friday and chef Aarón Sánchez and Ortega are hosting a National Taco Day Twitter party to reveal the best taco recipes and offer tips. You can follow @Ortega and @Chef_Aaron for more details.

Here is a recipe from Ortega to prepare at your Taco Day party.


Zesty fish tacos with cabbage and tangerine slaw

1/4 cup sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

Juice and zest of 1 lime

3 tablespoons guacamole seasoning mix

4 cups shredded red cabbage

1 onion, thinly sliced

2 tangerines (cubed, seeds removed)

2 pounds white fish fillets or shrimp

1 package (1 ounce) fish taco seasoning mix

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Chopped fresh cilantro

1 box taco shells, any variety

1 jar (16 ounces) taco sauce, any variety

Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice and zest, and guacamole seasoning mix. Add cabbage, onion and tangerines and mix to combine. Set aside for 20 minutes.

Cut fish into 1½ inch chunks and toss with taco seasoning mix. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook fish until it's opaque and edges are slightly browned, about 2 to 3 minutes, turning once. Fill taco shells with fish chunks and top with slaw. Sprinkle on chopped cilantro and top with taco sauce.

Makes 5 servings.