I actually did a bit of research for this. Turns out, food in the speakeasies were not documented considering…. well they were illegal. I did get the 21 Club’s cookbook so many of the recipes were taken from there. I have read in a few places that the food in the speakeasies was not necessarily good and had two purposes: 1. to make people thirsty and 2. to somewhat sober people up so they don’t drunkenly stagger out of the illegal bars and point the cops to the spot.
There was also a bit of talk about Italian food and Chinese food being big during this time. However, I’m saving the Italian food for my Godfather movies and I’m just not a huge fan of Chinese food so that’s that.
The following food are recipes from the 21 Club cookbook, the salad, chicken hash, and apple walnut pancakes have been served since the club’s opening in the late 20’s so they are authentic. Deviled eggs were a bit thing at any house party during this time so it’s all pretty much authentic.
21 Traditional Crab Cakes
1 lb. fresh lump crabmeat
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 T. vegetable oil
6 slices fresh white bread crust removed
1-2 Jalapenos seeded and chopped
1/4 c. fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 c. mayonnaise
2 T. Old Bay seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
Clean crabmeat of all shell fragments but do not crumble the lumps of crab. Saute the diced bell peppers in oil until wilted and set aside to cool. Use food processor to crumble white bread. Measure and reserve 2 tablespoons of the bread crumbs to use in the filling. The remaining bread crumbs will be used to coat the crab cakes.
Mix the crabmeat with the peppers, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro and mayonnaise. Add the seasoning powder, 2 tablespoons, salt and pepper. Mix well, then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Cover a work surface with waxed paper sprinkled with the reserved bread crumbs. Use ice cream scoop to form 8 equal-size portions of crabmeat. Pat each portion into a disk shape approximately 3/4″ thick. Press each cake into the bread crumbs, turning them so they coat evenly on all sides. Refrigerate at least 1 hour to prevent the cakes from crumbling during cooking.
Preheat oven to 375º. Around 30 minutes before serving, add enough oil to cover the bottom of an ovenproof saute pan. Heat until just before it begins to smoke. Add crab cakes gently without crowding. When the crab cakes are well browned on both sides, bake for 6 minutes. Serve with flavored mayonnaise and garnish with small salad.
Hard-boil eggs and shell. Cut eggs in half and separate yolks from whites. Add mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper to yolks to taste and refill egg whites with egg yolk mixture.
21 Hunter Salad
1/2 cup each diced carrots, celery, cooked beets, red peppers, yellow peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes
1 small Bibb lettuce, washed, dried, and torn into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
3/4 cup Lorenzo Dressing
1 tsp. dry English mustard dissolved in 2 T. water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2/3 c olive oil
1/4 c prepared chili sauce
1/4 c finely chopped watercress leaves
1/4 c chopped bacon
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the mustard paste, salt, and pepper. Pulse the mixture together briefly. Then add the vinegar a little at a time. While continuing to pulse, add the olive oil in a very patient, slow, steady stream to produce a smooth, creamy mayonnaiselike emulsion. When ready to serve, stir in the chili sauce, watercress and bacon.
Creamy Chicken Hash
1 1/2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breasts
salt and pepper to taste
3 c Chicken Stock
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 c white flour
1/4 c dry sherry
1/4 c heavy cream
1 recipe Wild Rice without pecans
1 recipe Rosemary-Seared Spinach
Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the chicken breasts. Lower the heat to simmer, and poach chicken breasts 20 minutes or until cooked. Remove chicken and cool completely before cutting into cubes. Reserve chicken stock liquid.
Combine the softened butter with the flour, kneading them into a paste. Return chicken stock to a boil and, using a wire whisk, carefully add the flour/butter paste in tablespoon increments.
Cook 5 minutes, then add the sherry and cream. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and cook at a low simmer 10 minutes more. Add the diced chicken to cream sauce and cook an additional 5 minutes. Serve on rice with bed of spinach.
2 c water
2 bay leaves
slat and pepper
1 c wild rice
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
Combine water, by leaves, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Add the rice, reduce to a simmer, and cook 40-45 minutes. Toss in remaining spices and serve.
Rosemary-Seared Spinach with Olive Oil and Garlic
3 T olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 lb fresh spinach, stems removed
2 T. chopped fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic. Before the garlic begins to brown, add the spinach leaves. Sear the spinach quickly on one side, then add the rosemary and salt and pepper. Toss or turn with tongs to cook until just wilted.
21 Apple Walnut pancakes with cinnamon cream and fudge sauce
- 5 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (preferably unbleached)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted
- In a bowl whisk together eggs, milk, Grand Marnier, and 2 tablespoons oil or butter until combined well and gradually whisk in flour. Stir in sugar and zests and chill, covered, 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200°F.
- Gently stir batter. Heat a well-seasoned 7-inch crêpe pan or not-stick skillet over moderate heat until hot and brush lightly with some melted butter. When butter starts to bubble remove pan from heat. Half fill a 1/4-cup measure with batter and pour into pan, tilting and rotating pan quickly to evenly coat bottom. Return pan to heat and cook pancake until underside is golden brown. Turn pancake and cook until underside is golden brown, transferring to a heatproof platter. Make more pancakes in same manner with remaining batter and butter, keeping pancakes warm in oven. Pancakes may be made ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, chilled 2 days or frozen 2 weeks. Reheat pancakes, wrapped in foil, in oven before filling them.
For apple walnut filling
- 1 3/4 pounds Macoun or other tart apples (4 to 6)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
- 12 orange pancakes
For cinnamon cream
- 1/2 cup well-chilled heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche*
- 1/2 cup fudge sauce
- Make apple walnut filling:
- Peel and core apples and cut into 1/4-inch wedges. In a skillet heat butter over moderately high heat until foam subsides and sauté apples until a rich golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Carefully stir in syrup, walnuts, cinnamon, and lemon juice and cook until apples are tender throughout but not mushy and liquid is reduced to a syrup-like consistency. Remove skillet from heat and stir in Grand Marnier. Cook filling over low heat 1 minute to blend flavors and keep warm. Filling may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Reheat filling before proceeding.
- Preheat oven to 250°F.
- Put 2 1/2 tablespoons warm apple filling in center of each pancake and roll up pancakes tightly to enclose filling. In a baking pan keep filled pancakes warm in oven.
- Make cinnamon cream:
- In a bowl with a whisk or an electric mixer beat cream with confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon until it holds soft peaks and fold in crème fraîche.
- Put 2 filled pancakes on each of 6 dessert plates. Top pancakes with some cinnamon cream and drizzle with fudge sauc
Drinks- Gin and Tonics (thrown into fame after The Great Gatsby was published)
Posh G&T- Take a vibrant, citrussy gin and add a tablespoon of sweet vermouth. Add two dashes of peach bitters, top with tonic and garnish with a generous handful of luscious seasonal berries.
Tonic Delight- Select a floral gin and add a tablespoon of rose water, a tablespoon of peach liqueur and a two dashes of grapefruit bitters. Go demure on the garnish and top with a rose petal.
Raspberry Rose Gin and Tonic-
- 2/3 punnet raspberries (approximately 2/3 cup)
- 1/3 cup Bombay Sapphire gin (approximately 80 mls)
- 3 tablespoons caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (approximately 1.5 limes, juiced)
- 1/4 teaspoon rosewater
- Crushed ice
- Tonic water
- 1/2 lime for garnishing
- 1 teaspoon dried rose petals (food grade, available at speciality food shops)
- Place first five ingredients into a jug and muddle (semi-crush) raspberries with the end of a wooden spoon. You can leave it to infuse for up to an hour but if you’re in a hurry, simply skip on to the next step.
- Add spoonfuls of crushed ice to two tumblers (or highballs if you prefer more tonic water) and pour over berry mixture, diving equally.
- Top with chilled tonic water, garnish with a lime slice and scatter over dried rose petals.
Blackberry and Meyer Lemon G&T
20 fresh mint leaves
2 Meyer lemons (can sub. regular lemons)
1/4 cup simple syrup
12 ounces good quality gin
1. Set out four high ball glasses.
2. Place 3 blackberries, 5 mint leaves, juice of ½ lemon, and 1 tablespoon simple syrup in each glass and muddle together.
3. Fill each glass with ice, followed by 3 ounces of gin. Top off each drink with tonic water, stir and serve.