Hello, my beautiful lovelies! It's Emmy.
Welcome back to another episode of Hard Times where I explore food and recipes from times of food scarcity.
So today I'm going to be revisiting our dear friend Clara and her Great Depression recipes.
If you haven't seen or met Clara, I shall put a link down below to her channel.
And Clara, of course, has since passed but her legacy lives on through these videos and recipes.
And today I am going to be making her Poor Man's Meal.
So this recipe comes from a time in American history where things were not available. There was no money.
There was not a lot of food.
But Clara said there were a lot of potatoes. Her father would buy sacks and sacks of potatoes.
And they ate potatoes in all different ways. So Clara was no different than many of our grandmothers. She doesn't include any recipe amounts
She kind of just goes by feel. So I'm gonna give you my rough estimate of what she used.
So here are three very large Yukon Gold potatoes. In her video, she uses Russet potatoes,
I believe. She doesn't say, but based on what they look like,
they look like Russet potatoes, but I happen to have these on hand, so I don't think Clara would mind if I use these.
So first things first, we're going to peel them using a vegetable peeler.
So I'm gonna save these peels -- I'm going to use them in another recipe.
I'm going to make potato skin crisps, or chips.
And this is a recipe for wartime rationing. And Clara shares while she's peeling the potatoes that
even if the potatoes were bad they'd still use them. They'd just cut away the bad portion, and just used
the remaining because
nothing went to waste
Clara said that she didn't finish high school because she didn't have socks. She couldn't afford clothing.
So she stopped going to school.
This is the episode where Clara also shares a story of her garden, and a neighbor who came with a shopping bag,
and decided it was okay to take food from her garden without asking.
Clara even says that if she had asked, she would have just given her the food.
But just to go in to take people's things without asking, without putting in any work.
That was just insulting.
Okay, so three potatoes --
I'm going to reserve these skins.
And now we're going to cube these into about half inch pieces. I normally cube my potatoes like this --
slice them with my big knife; and then, you know,
make sticks; and then crosswise,
to get cubes.
But what I noticed Clara doing in the video was she actually used a small knife,
and she would cut directly into her pan.
So just using a paring knife like this,
she would just cut directly into the pan like that.
I don't know if it would just save countertop space -- and just cook cutting directly into a pan?
But I thought I'd try that a technique. It works just fine.
You don't want the knife to be too sharp, because I think you would cut your thumb pretty easily.
I guess a lot of people could be doing this at the same time, too --
if you're...got a whole bunch of people helping to make dinner --
not a whole bunch of people,
but just an assistant/sous chef to kind of just help you cut up the potatoes. You could both cut into the pan
So I'm going to do this for all three potatoes....
So something that I noticed in Clara's video is that she put everything into a cold pan. The pan is not heated;
she doesn't out any oil in it; she just puts the potatoes and the onions in a cold pan; adds some oil;
and then heats it up.
So, I'm gonna do it just as she does. So there are my potatoes....
Medium heat now; and add some oil; she puts quite a lot of oil in her potatoes; and that's probably
part of the reason why it tastes so good.
So I probably glugged in there a good three or four tablespoons of oil.
And like here potatoes, she cut the onions directly into the pan as well.
Maybe I will use the entire onion -- there's a lot of potatoes in there.
Stir this. Make sure everything is coated with oil.
I'm going to add another glug of oil, cuz I think the trick is not....
to put too little oil. Otherwise potatoes will stick. I'm using a heavy cast iron pan for this --
thought it would be appropriate for a
Great Depression recipe. Although I love cast iron,
If you have any questions about cast iron, I do have a cast iron video about how to take care of it;
how to restore it; and I'll put that link down below in case you missed that episode.
Alright, so I'm just gonna let that cook.
So while that continues to fry,
I'm gonna slice up my hot dogs; and Clara cuts them very, very thinly -- make sense cuz you want to stretch out the meat.
She cut them in just little coins.
So we're gonna allow the potatoes and the onions to caramelize a bit and brown
before we add the hot dogs. The hot dogs, of course, are already cooked.
They don't need any time really to cook; they'll brown up a little bit, but mostly we're just cooking their potatoes here.
So while the potatoes and onions are cooking, I'm going to take the potato skins that we reserved, and I'm going to make
chips, or crisps. I found this recipe from Granny Doris --
I'll put the link down below if you are interested in seeing that.
So on a baking sheet, I'm going to use a little bit of parchment paper, and I'm going to put a little bit of oil;
And then I'm going to distribute my peels.
Okay. The oven is heating....
And I'm gonna toss them for good measure to make sure everything is coated.
And we're going to be making crisps, as they call them in the UK, or chips as we call them here in the US.
It's going to be a little snack.
Okay. Now we're going to liberally salt these with a little bit of kosher salt, and pepper.
Now we're gonna pop these into a four hundred degree oven and let them bake about ten minutes,
or until they're nice and crispy.
All right. Here we go. So the potatoes have been cooking now for about
ten to twelve minutes, and they're softening up. And now I'm going to add a little bit of water...
to help them cook a little bit more. So, at this point, I'm also going to add the hot dogs.
Friendly with the potatoes....
Clara also adds a little bit of tomato sauce as well. This is just right out of a jar.
She said it'd help give it a little sauce.
My potatoes are tender...
And we are done. So, in a skillet, that took about a half an hour to cook.
Time to tuck into the Poor Man's Meal!
All righty here it is! Looking beautiful! Can't wait to taste this. This goes out to you Clara -- the Poor Man's Meal.
Get a little bit of hot dog; a little bit of onion; everything on that. All right. Itadakimasu!
Mm-hmm. And that's delicious.
Soft potatoes -- whoops!
*oven timer beeping*
Soft, well-cooked potatoes that are a little bit caramelized; onions have caramelized completely
and so they're nice and sweet; need to get a little bit of hot dog in there both for protein, but a little bit of
smokiness as well.
Basically this meal is a dish of home fries -- something that you might find out a greasy spoon, or a diner.
Except they probably wouldn't put hot dogs, would they?
It's good, but I think one thing that would make it even better....
is a little bit of hot sauce. So I'm gonna do that,
'cuz this reminds me of breakfast and I love hot sauce on my breakfast.
Mm-hmm. Potatoes. Hot sauce.
So there you have it: Clara's Poor Man's Meal. Absolutely delicious!
All right, so here are the potato skin chips and they have...
toasted very nicely.
And they've crisped up. I put these in a four hundred degree oven for about fifteen minutes.
And they look lovely. Be careful not to overcook them.
They are very, very, very thin because there are potato skin peelings, after all. All right. Let's give those a go!
thin and crisp: similar to a potato chip, but a little bit different. Not as like shatteringly crisp, but
crisp nonetheless. They have a delicious potato earthy flavor; nicely seasoned with salt and pepper.
Delicious! The one drawback is that there is a good amount of oil in this,
and this would be definite extra calories, but I love the idea
of not letting things go to waste: the frugality.
Makes us appreciate what we've got, right?
Mm. That was a really crisp one.
So there you have it: another Hard Times episode; another lovely Clara recipe.
Let me know in the comments down below if there any other recipes you'd like me to taste:
Clara, or historical, or otherwise. I am having so much fun with this series, because I'm learning
so much about the human existence; the fortitude;
the resourcefulness; the human will and soul that goes into
survival; and making do. Love it. Love it. It's inspiring. Alright, I hope you guys enjoyed that one!
I hope you guys learned something. Share this video with your friends;
follow me on social media; and I shall see you in my next one. Toodaloo! Take care. Bye!