Monday, March 28, 2011

A Favorite Obama Family Recipe

Will the beloved breakfast goodies make it into the First Lady's new book about the White House Kitchen Garden?
Since the announcement that First Lady Michelle Obama will be penning a book about the White House Kitchen Garden that will include "favorite family recipes," ObFo readers have been madly e mailing, asking exactly which recipes will be included. But the recipe list hasn't been released--or likely decided--yet, nor has decisive information about exactly whose recipes it will be that are collected in Mrs. Obama's very first book.

The foodie delights might be from Mrs. Obama, and they might be the creations of the White House chefs, ObFo was told when the book was announced. It's all Top Secret until the book is released in April of 2012. But last year, the White House issued what was deemed a favorite Obama Family Recipe--and it wasn't created by any Obama, nor was it created by the White House chefs.

In January of 2010, when Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford competed on Iron Chef America Superchef Battle (which featured a cameo from Mrs. Obama), the White House gave a deep-fried fish recipe created by Eleanor "Mama Kaye" Wilson to Food Network Magazine, dubbing it an Obama family fave. Wilson is the Obama Daughters' godmother and best gal pal of First Grandmother Marian Robinson. She is described as a "Chicago educator" in the media, and just joined the First Family on their five-day trip to Latin America. (Above: Wilson, right, and Robinson stroll across the White House grounds after returning from the trip on March 23)

Wilson has accompanied the First Family on other trips, too, and is Mrs. Robinson's yoga partner, according to People Magazine. She's also apparently a swell cook.

"For the one-year anniversary of their big move [from Chicago], the President and First Lady passed along two recipes: An old favorite, from the girls' godmother and family friend "Mama Kaye" Wilson, and a new one, inspired by the winter greens grown on the South Lawn," Food Network Magazine noted.

The Kitchen Garden recipe was for Herb Roasted Chicken with Cauliflower Gratin; and below is Mama Kaye's recipe for Salmon Breakfast Croquettes. The golf-ball size morning delights are made with the very nutritious fish, combined with mashed potatoes and other savories, then deep fried in peanut oil. Is the recipe in keeping with the First Lady's healthy eating campaign? You decide. Step three of the recipe involves overnight refrigeration.

Mama Kaye's Salmon Breakfast Croquettes

8 ounces baked or poached salmon, flaked
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups mashed potatoes
1 small white onion, diced
5 cloves minced garlic
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
Peanut oil, for frying

1. Mix the salmon, eggs, mashed potatoes, onion, and garlic in a large bowl.

2. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the flour to hold the mixture together.

3. Form the mixture into golf-ball-size balls. Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

4. Heat about 1 inch of peanut oil in a large straight-sided skillet until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees. Fry the croquettes, in batches, until crisp and golden on one side, 3 to 4 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary.

5. Turn and cook until golden on the other side, 1 to 2 more minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Serves four.

*Top photo by Kate Mathis for Food Network; second from Getty