Toni Tipton-Martin wants to celebrate the joy of African American food

191202 Atlanta, Ga: Compilation shot: Starting from front. Toni Tipton-Martin’s Green Bean Amandine, blanched haricots verts tossed in butter, olive oil and garlic and perked up with paprika, is a study in simplicity. From her cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35), the side is elegant elegant enough for company or the holiday table. Braised Lamb Shanks with Peanut Sauce is Toni Tipton-Martin’s take on the various peanut-enriched stews of West Africa, specifically Senegal’s mafe. The recipe, from her cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson-Potter, $35), is served with rice and rof gremolata, a condiment of chopped parsley, garlic, lemon zest and Scotch bonnet pepper that marries Senegal’s rof and Italy’s gremolata. (in small condiment dish) Rof gremolata helps cut the richness of Toni Tipton-Martin’s Senegalese-inspired Braised Lamb Shanks with Peanut Sauce. It’s also a delicious, all-purpose condiment that will pair well with most any roasted, grilled or braised meat, fish or chicken. Recipe is from Tipton-Martin’s cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). (cake) Toni Tipton-Martin bakes her Lemon Tea Cake at Christmastime; it’s a triple-lemon affair of zesty yellow cake, drizzled with lemon syrup and crowned with an optional lemon glaze. Recipe is from her cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). (far right in dish) A dollop of cream and a splash of rum gives smashed carrots and turnips a haunting sweetness. The dish is a welcome diversion from sweet potatoes. Recipe is from Toni-Tipton Martin’s important new cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). Food cover story. A conversation with cookbook author Toni Tipton-Martin about her new book, “Jubilee: Recipes for two Centuries of African

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191202 Atlanta, Ga: Compilation shot: Starting from front. Toni Tipton-Martin’s Green Bean Amandine, blanched haricots verts tossed in butter, olive oil and garlic and perked up with paprika, is a study in simplicity. From her cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35), the side is elegant elegant enough for company or the holiday table. Braised Lamb Shanks with Peanut Sauce is Toni Tipton-Martin’s take on the various peanut-enriched stews of West Africa, specifically Senegal’s mafe. The recipe, from her cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson-Potter, $35), is served with rice and rof gremolata, a condiment of chopped parsley, garlic, lemon zest and Scotch bonnet pepper that marries Senegal’s rof and Italy’s gremolata. (in small condiment dish) Rof gremolata helps cut the richness of Toni Tipton-Martin’s Senegalese-inspired Braised Lamb Shanks with Peanut Sauce. It’s also a delicious, all-purpose condiment that will pair well with most any roasted, grilled or braised meat, fish or chicken. Recipe is from Tipton-Martin’s cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). (cake) Toni Tipton-Martin bakes her Lemon Tea Cake at Christmastime; it’s a triple-lemon affair of zesty yellow cake, drizzled with lemon syrup and crowned with an optional lemon glaze. Recipe is from her cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). (far right in dish) A dollop of cream and a splash of rum gives smashed carrots and turnips a haunting sweetness. The dish is a welcome diversion from sweet potatoes. Recipe is from Toni-Tipton Martin’s important new cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). Food cover story. A conversation with cookbook author Toni Tipton-Martin about her new book, “Jubilee: Recipes for two Centuries of African

For Toni Tipton-Martin, it's never just about the recipes. It's about the history, the struggle. It's about recognizing the marvelous variety of African American cooking, and giving it the dignity and respect it deserves.

With her fastidiously researched, sublimely photographed new cookbook, "Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking" (Clarkson Potter, $35), the pioneering, Los Angeles-born food writer who now lives in Baltimore sets about busting the stereotypes long assigned to black cuisine in America.

Bring up African American food, she says, and many people go straight to the fried chicken and collards. They pigeon-hole it as soul food, or Southern food, thereby limiting the cuisine to the painful legacy of slavery. But isn’t eating supposed to be joyful?

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Toni Tipton-Martin is the author of “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). Contributed by Pableaux Johnson

Toni Tipton-Martin is the author of “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). Contributed by Pableaux Johnson

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Toni Tipton-Martin is the author of “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). Contributed by Pableaux Johnson

As she writes in her introduction to "Jubilee," the brilliant follow-up to her James Beard Award-winning "The Jemima Code" from 2015: "We hear less … about the cooking that can be traced to free people of color, the well-trained enslaved and skilled working class, entrepreneurs, and the black privileged class."

With this erudite volume, Tipton-Martin sets out to demonstrate, via recipes, how blacks have long embraced “classic techniques, formal training, global flavors, and local ingredients” — attributes she believes would have catapulted them to celebrity in today’s world.

To make her case, she posits 125 recipes, ranging from the fancy to the everyday: Champagne Cocktails and Sorrel (Hibiscus) Tea from Jamaica. Spanish Cornbread and Nigerian Black-Eyed Pea Fritters. Braised Celery and (fried) Okra Salad. Senegalese-style Braised Lamb Shanks With Peanut Sauce and Pork Chops with Rich Caper-Lemon Sauce. Sweet Potato-Mango Cake and Southern Pecan Pie Laced with Whiskey.

Often, the recipes represent the way Tipton-Martin likes to cook and entertain at home. She grew up in an affluent Los Angeles neighborhood, trick-or-treating at the home of Ray Charles (he handed out McDonald’s cheeseburgers) and well acquainted with entertainment-industry giants such as Berry Gordy. “We just went to school with them and hung out,” she said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “There was no pretension about it.”

Her mom was a vegetarian who made sure her family nourished their bodies with the bounty of California produce. As a journalism major at the University of Southern California, Tipton-Martin got a part-time job at a small weekly newspaper. When the food editor left, she was tasked with editing the recipes. She soon discovered she was more interested in the stories behind the recipes.

In the ’80s, right after college, Tipton-Martin was hired by the Los Angeles Times as a part-time nutrition writer. She felt somewhat limited and wanted to go deeper. Her boss, the legendary Ruth Reichl, told her “to go out into the streets of LA” and not come back until she knew what she wanted to do.

“I was gone for three days and when I came back, I had a story about my Mormon neighbors that did not include any recipes,” she recalls. At the time, publishing a food story without recipes was virtually unheard of. Yet the paper decided to run the article, and Tipton-Martin’s career as a food-culture reporter was launched. In 1991, she moved to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where she became the first black food editor of a major American daily.

She eventually left newspapers to raise her family, but she stayed in touch with the food world. At a food-journalism conference in Atlanta in 1994, the imminent Southern-food historian John Egerton gave her “The Kentucky Cookbook, Easy and Simple for any Cook.” Authored by a “colored woman,” it was published in 1912 and penned by Mrs. W.T. Hayes. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it, in the same way he wasn’t sure what he was going to do with it,” Tipton-Martin said. “But it really kicked off my curiosity about black cookbooks.”

Soon after, she began collecting historic cookbooks in a serious way. (Today she has more than 400 by black authors.) In 2015, “The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks” appeared to wide acclaim. It’s an annotated bibliography of 150 black cookbooks, from Malinda Russell’s “A Domestic Cook Book” (1866) to Jessica B. Harris’ “Iron Pots and Wooden Spoons” (1989).

“The title ‘The Jemima Code’ is a way for me to express our love-hate relationship with the history of black women the kitchen,” Tipton-Martin said. “Black cooks were loved, beloved for all that they accomplished. But they were disparaged at the same time, and memorialized by the image of a mammy cook in the plantation South, as a perpetual slave. And that bleeds over onto our concepts of kitchen work, and obviously yields the phrase, ‘slaving in the kitchen.’ So then who wants to cook after that? Not our children. Not anybody! I’m on a mission to change that and get us cooking again.”

With “Jubilee,” she gives us plenty of reasons to celebrate.

RECIPES

With these recipes from Tony Tipton-Martin’s “Jubilee,” you can serve an elegant meal, or cook the dishes individually. The Mashed Turnips and Carrots with Rum, Green Beans Amandine and Lemon Tea Cake would be perfect for the holiday table.

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Braised Lamb Shanks with Peanut Sauce is Toni Tipton-Martin’s take on the various peanut-enriched stews of West Africa, specifically Senegal’s mafe. 

 Braised Lamb Shanks with Peanut Sauce is Toni Tipton-Martin’s take on the various peanut-enriched stews of West Africa, specifically Senegal’s mafe. 

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Braised Lamb Shanks with Peanut Sauce is Toni Tipton-Martin’s take on the various peanut-enriched stews of West Africa, specifically Senegal’s mafe. 

Braised Lamb Shanks with Peanut Sauce

This dish is Toni Tipton-Martin’s take on the various peanut-enriched stews of West Africa, specifically Senegal’s mafé. It’s served with rice (or couscous or the West African superfood fonio) and Rof Gremolata, a condiment of chopped parsley, garlic, lemon zest and Scotch bonnet pepper that marries Senegal’s rof with like-minded gremolata, from Italy.

Recipe: Braised Lamb Shanks with Peanut Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups beef stock (preferably homemade but I used store-bought)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2-3 pounds lamb shank
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon minced Scotch bonnet pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut in quarters
  • Rof Gremolata (see recipe), for serving
  • Hot cooked rice, couscous, or fonio, for serving
  • In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste with ¼ cup of the stock. Stir the peanut butter into the remaining stock. Set both mixtures aside.
  • Place the shanks on a board; pat dry with paper towels. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering, then add the shanks and cook until evenly browned on all sides, about 15 minutes total. Work in batches if necessary. Do not crowd the pan.
  • Remove the shanks to a platter and set aside. Add the onions to the pan and brown, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chile pepper, and thyme and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add the tomato paste mixture to the onions, and cook 7 to 10 minutes, until the broth is completely evaporated.
  • Stir in the peanut butter-stock mixture, bay leaves, and carrots. Season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Return the lamb and any juices that have collected on the platter to the pan. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 1 hour.
  • Uncover, increase the heat to medium, and simmer 30 minutes more to allow the gravy to thicken and the meat to become fork-tender. If necessary, let it cook longer, until the shanks are very tender. Add a little more stock or water if doing so, to prevent the sauce from getting too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings. Garnish with a spoonful of rof gremolata, and serve with rice, couscous or fonio. Serves: 4-6
  • To make the Rof Gremolata: Mix 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley, 3 minced green onions, 2 minced garlic cloves, ½ seeded and minced Scotch bonnet pepper and zest of 1 lemon in a small bowl. (Makes about 1 cup. Refrigerate up to 1 week, tightly covered.)

Nutritional information

Per serving: • Per serving, based on 4 (with 1 tablespoon gremolata): 834 calories (percent of calories from fat, 64), 46 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 59 grams fat (16 grams saturated), 91 milligrams cholesterol, 1,336 milligrams sodium.

— Adapted from “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35) by Toni-Tipton Martin

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A dollop of cream and a splash of rum gives smashed carrots and turnips a haunting sweetness. The dish is a welcome diversion from sweet potatoes. 

A dollop of cream and a splash of rum gives smashed carrots and turnips a haunting sweetness. The dish is a welcome diversion from sweet potatoes. 

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A dollop of cream and a splash of rum gives smashed carrots and turnips a haunting sweetness. The dish is a welcome diversion from sweet potatoes. 

Mashed Turnips and Carrots with Rum

A dollop of cream and a splash of rum give mashed carrots and turnips a haunting, layered sweetness. At a November dinner in Tipton-Martin’s honor at Atlanta chef Deborah VanTrece’s Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours, Coffee-Scented Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine from “Jubilee” were served atop this root-veggie mash. “When she (VanTrece) said it had rum in it, there was an inhale from the guests,” Tipton-Martin said. However, she advises adding the spirit to taste, lest it overwhelm the palate. I love rum, but I stopped at 1 teaspoon.

Recipe: Mashed Turnips and Carrots with Rum
  • ½ pound turnips (or rutabaga), peeled, trimmed, and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons heavy cream, to taste
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons aged dark rum, to taste (optional)
  • Black pepper (optional)
  • In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups water, the turnips, carrots, sugar, honey and salt. The water will not cover the vegetables. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the vegetables, covered, for 15 minutes. Pierce with a fork to test doneness, then continue to cook to your preferred degree of doneness, up to 15 minutes more, adding water as needed to prevent sticking and to keep the vegetables steaming. (The more tender the vegetables, the smoother the mash will be, but don’t overcook them totally or the mash will be watery.)
  • Drain the vegetables in a colander, reserving the cooking water. Mash the vegetables with a spoon, ricer, or food mill, or in a food processor, until smooth.
  • In the same saucepan, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the onions to the turnips and carrots and blend well, adding cream as desired and enough reserved cooking water and/or rum (if using) to adjust the consistency and flavor to your liking. Taste to adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Serves: 4 to 6

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: Per serving, based on 4: 216 calories (percent of calories from fat, 53), 2 grams protein, 24 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 13 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 36 milligrams cholesterol, 718 milligrams sodium.

Adapted from “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35) by Toni-Tipton Martin

caption arrowCaption
Toni Tipton-Martin’s Green Bean Amandine, blanched haricots verts tossed in butter, olive oil and garlic and perked up with paprika, is a study in simplicity. 

Toni Tipton-Martin’s Green Bean Amandine, blanched haricots verts tossed in butter, olive oil and garlic and perked up with paprika, is a study in simplicity. 

caption arrowCaption
Toni Tipton-Martin’s Green Bean Amandine, blanched haricots verts tossed in butter, olive oil and garlic and perked up with paprika, is a study in simplicity. 

Green Beans Amandine

This side dish is a study in simplicity. At Christmas, Tipton-Martin adds diced red bell pepper to make the dish more festive.

Recipe: Green Beans Amandine
  • Salt
  • 1½ pounds French green beans (haricots verts), trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic or shallots
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Black pepper
  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • Set up a large bowl of ice and water. In a large skillet, bring a couple of cups of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the beans and cook until they turn bright green and tender-crisp, 3 to 4 minutes (or longer, to your desired tenderness, adding water if necessary), shaking the pan occasionally to cook evenly. Drain the beans and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking. Drain again and set aside or refrigerate until ready to cook, if making ahead.
  • In the same skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until tender, about 30 seconds. Return the beans to the pan. Season with the paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring the pan occasionally, to heat through. Serve garnished with the almonds and parsley. Serves: 4-6 

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 4: 210 calories (percent of calories from fat, 63), 7 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 16 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 8 milligrams cholesterol, 41 milligrams sodium.

— Adapted from “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35) by Toni-Tipton Martin

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191202 Atlanta, Ga: Toni Tipton-Martin bakes her Lemon Tea Cake at Christmastime; it’s a triple-lemon affair of zesty yellow cake, drizzled with lemon syrup and crowned with an optional lemon glaze. Recipe is from her cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). Food cover story. A conversation with cookbook author Toni Tipton-Martin about her new book, “Jubilee: Recipes for two Centuries of African American Cooking”. All photos taken at the home of Wendell Brock in Atlanta, Ga on Monday December 2, 2019. Food styling by Wendell Brock.(Photo Chris Hunt Photography) for Wendell Brock story 121219jubilee

191202 Atlanta, Ga: Toni Tipton-Martin bakes her Lemon Tea Cake at Christmastime; it’s a triple-lemon affair of zesty yellow cake, drizzled with lemon syrup and crowned with an optional lemon glaze. Recipe is from her cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). Food cover story. A conversation with cookbook author Toni Tipton-Martin about her new book, “Jubilee: Recipes for two Centuries of African American Cooking”. All photos taken at the home of Wendell Brock in Atlanta, Ga on Monday December 2, 2019. Food styling by Wendell Brock.(Photo Chris Hunt Photography) for Wendell Brock story 121219jubilee

caption arrowCaption
191202 Atlanta, Ga: Toni Tipton-Martin bakes her Lemon Tea Cake at Christmastime; it’s a triple-lemon affair of zesty yellow cake, drizzled with lemon syrup and crowned with an optional lemon glaze. Recipe is from her cookbook, “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” (Clarkson Potter, $35). Food cover story. A conversation with cookbook author Toni Tipton-Martin about her new book, “Jubilee: Recipes for two Centuries of African American Cooking”. All photos taken at the home of Wendell Brock in Atlanta, Ga on Monday December 2, 2019. Food styling by Wendell Brock.(Photo Chris Hunt Photography) for Wendell Brock story 121219jubilee

Lemon Tea Cake

This cake — a triple-lemon affair of zesty yellow cake, drizzled with syrup and crowned with an optional glaze — has become a Christmas tradition for Tipton-Martin and her family.

Recipe: Lemon Tea Cake
  • Softened butter or shortening for the pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) butter, at room temperature
  • 2½ cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • ¼ cup loosely packed grated lemon zest
  • Lemon Glaze (optional; recipe follows)
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Generously coat a 10-inch tube or Bundt pan or two 8-inch loaf pans with butter or shortening. Dust lightly with flour, shaking to remove any excess.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a liquid measuring cup, combine ¼ cup of the lemon juice, the buttermilk, and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until light, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, add 2 cups of the sugar, 1 cup at a time, while beating on medium speed until incorporated. Continue beating until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the mixer still on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until the eggs are completely incorporated. Beat in the lemon zest.
  • With the mixer on low, beat in the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the lemon-juice-buttermilk mixture, and beginning and ending with flour. Mix just until the batter is smooth.
  • Pour the batter into the pan and bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the remaining ½ cup sugar and ½ cup lemon juice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir the syrup for a few minutes to cool slightly.
  • With a wooden skewer, poke holes over the bottom of the cake. Gradually spoon the lemon syrup over the entire surface, allowing the cake to absorb the syrup between spoonfuls. Repeat until all the syrup is used. Let the cake cool in the pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet (to catch any excess lemon glaze in the next step).
  • When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake, if using, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let it set before serving. Serves: 16-20

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 4: 210 calories (percent of calories from fat, 63), 7 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 16 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 8 milligrams cholesterol, 41 milligrams sodium.
Recipe: Lemon Glaze
  • 3½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • In a small liquid measuring cup, combine the lemon juice and sugar and whisk until the glaze is smooth. Makes enough for 1 large cake.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 4: 210 calories (percent of calories from fat, 63), 7 grams protein, 14 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fiber, 16 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 8 milligrams cholesterol, 41 milligrams sodium.

— Adapted from "Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking" (Clarkson Potter, $35) by Toni-Tipton Martin

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