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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day

In honor of Veterans Day, I wanted to present a little information on food in the military.  It has come a long way since the days of the Civil War. 

The Armed Forces Recipe Service is a compendium of high-volume foodservice recipes written and updated regularly by the United States Department of Defense Natick Laboratories, and used not only by military cooks but by institutional and catering operations. It originated in 1969 as a consolidation of the cooking manuals of the four main services, and is based on previous military publications dating back to the first standardization efforts in the US Army in 1896. Recipes are based primarily on American cookery, though with the addition of specialized items such as vegetarian, kosher, and halal recipes to meet more specialized needs of those being served. The Service database is now distributed by the Joint Culinary Center of Excellence, a division of the US Army Quartermaster School based in Fort Lee, Virginia.
Each recipe card has a standardized format; each recipe is calibrated to feed 100 people, with a basic nutritional analysis across the top of the card. Traditionally available primarily in print format, the AFRS database is also available electronically. 

Here is a military vegetarian recipe!

Cabbage and Tofu Dumpling Soup

1/4 pound firm tofu
4 tablespoons water
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 medium head cabbage
1 tablespoon corn oil
8 cups boiling water
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Chopped scallions

Dumplings: Blend tofu with water until smooth.

Sift dry ingredients. Stir in tofu mixture. Knead for 1 minute, form into 1/2-inch balls and set aside.

Soup: Mince core of cabbage and shred leaves finely. Heat oil in soup pot. Add cabbage and sauté over medium heat until golden.

Add water and bay leaf; return to a boil.

Add dumplings, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. The dumplings should be floating on the top at this point. Remove bay leaf.

Dilute soy sauce in a bit of the broth, then add to the soup. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve garnished with scallions.

Servings: 6

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