When we think of the Titanic, we think First Class and Third Class. The rich and the poor, with sharp contrasts. We view them through a romantic lens. Jack and Rose. The invisible passengers were those of Second Class. The forgotten class.
One of the aspects of sailing aboard the Titanic is that her Second Class passengers enjoyed a level of luxury that rivaled that of First Class passengers on other ships at that time. For the most part, Second Class passengers were leisure tourists, academics, members of the clergy, and middle-class families of Europe and America.
Two Roman Catholic priests were among the Second Class passengers. They celebrated Mass daily for the second and Third Class passengers during the voyage. Father Thomas Byles gave his homilies in English, Irish, and French. Father Joseph Peruschitz gave his in German and Hungarian. Father Juozas Montvila, a Lutheran minister and Reverend John Harper, a well-known Baptist pastor from Scotland, were also among the Second Class clergy passengers who perished that night. Of the estimated 284 souls sailing Second Class, over half did not survive.
Class separation was very much a part of life in 1912. Images of the Titanic only amplified this stark social and economical separation. While first and Second Class passengers were separated, it was possible to move from one class to another should a passenger desire to do so. However; despite Hollywood tales, it was nearly impossible for First Class passengers to reach the quarters of Third Class or for Third Class to reach First Class areas. This strictly maintained physical separation was to protect the upper class passengers from those in steerage, thought to be diseased and bug infested. That said, it’s not entirely clear if Second Class could reach Third Class. If that is the case, I cannot help but wonder, did Jack lead Rose to Third Class by passing through Second Class first?
So often when people host a Titanic Last Supper, they rely on the extravagant First Class 10-course supper that seems to go on for ever. I will admit, dishes such as Asparagus Salad with Champagne-Saffron Vinaigrette or Poached Salmon with Mousseline Sauce were irresistible, there is a reason why a chef should be hired to do the First Class Last Supper justice. So labor intense!
This time around, to mark the day, I thought why not put together a menu more in keeping with that of Second Class. I’ve taken some liberty here, selecting dishes that are in the spirit of Second Class while easier, and with ingredients that are not only readily available but also foods my guys are willing to eat. Enjoy!
Second Class Supper in Three Courses
1st Course – Soup
2nd Course – Main Course
Fish – Oven Broiled Haddock with Sharp Sauce and Crusty Bread Rolls
Roasted Meat – Roast Chicken
Vegetables – Boiled Potatoes and Creamed Peas
3rd Course – Sweet Conclusions
Pink Wine Jelly
Assorted Cheese and Fruit Platter
1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
4 Egg Whites
3 Roma Tomatoes
4 Celery Ribs
1/2 lb Lean Ground Sirloin
1 sprig Thyme
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
6 cups Veal or Beef Stock
Additional Thyme for garnish
Crush peppercorns, set aside. Separate egg whites from yolks. Reserve yolks for another purpose, set whites aside. Crush egg shells, set aside.
Quarter tomatoes and coarsely chop celery.
In a bowl, whisk peppercorns, egg whites and eggshells together until the mixture turns foamy.
In a food processor, pulse together the tomatoes, celery, and ground beef a few times.
Combine the stock, the vegetable-beef mixture, the egg mixture, thyme, and salt in a large stockpot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Reduce heat and simmer, without stirring, for 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. Discard contents of sieve. Season Consommé with additional salt, if desired. Ladle hot soup into warm bowls and enjoy.
Oven Broiled Haddock with Sharp Sauce
1 small White Onion
2 tablespoons Butter
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 tablespoon Flour
3/4 cup Water
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar
1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Dash Hot Pepper Sauce
Peel and finely mince onion.
In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened.
Increase heat to medium-high and stir in brown sugar, salt, and pepper; continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes longer or until onions are well browned. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, for 45 seconds.
Stir in water, tomato paste, vinegar, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and hot pepper sauce. Bring to boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Strain and keep warm.
Baked Broiled Haddock
3 slices Bread
3 tablespoons fresh Parsley, chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons Chives, snipped
1 Lemon for garnish
3/4 cup Mayonnaise
1-1/2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
6 (8 oz) skinless Haddock Fillets
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
Chives for garnish
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet, set aside.
Toast bread lightly to dry out, place in a food processor to create fresh bread crumbs. Set aside. Chop parsley and snip chives, set aside. Thinly slice lemon for garnish, set aside.
In small dish, combine mayonnaise and mustard. Place fillets on the prepared baking sheets. Using back of spoon, spread mayonnaise mixture evenly over top of fish.
In another bowl, stir together bread crumbs, parsley, and Parmesan; sprinkle over fillets.
Place fish in the heated oven for about 8 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with fork.
Switch oven to broil and continue to bake for 1 to 2 minutes or until topping is evenly browned.
Transfer to heated platter. and sprinkle with chives.
To serve, ladle sauce on warm dinner plates. Place Haddock on the sauce. Garnish with lemon and chive strands.
Golden Roast Chicken
1 (5 lb) Roasting Chicken
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
1 whole Garlic Head
2 tablespoons Butter, melted
Fresh Rosemary for garnish
Heat the oven to 425-degrees.
Remove any giblets that are may be in the cavity of the chicken. Rinse the bird inside and out. Pat it dry.
Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.
Cut lemon in half. Squeeze a bit of the lemon into the cavity, then stuff both halves inside.
Peel most of the paper from the garlic head. Cut in half down the middle, exposing the cloves. Place the garlic inside the cavity with the lemon.
Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Tie wings against the breast. Place the bird on a roasting rack. Brush the outside of the chicken with the melted butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Use all the butter, this will crisp the skin and give the bird a beautiful color.
Place rack inside the roasting pan. Pour about a cup of chicken stock into the bottom of the roasting pan.
Roast the chicken, uncovered, for about an hour and half or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.
Place chicken on a platter. Cut away the twine, garnish with fresh rosemary. Carve tableside like a turkey.
Boiled Herb Potatoes
1-1/2 lb Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
1-1/2 lb Baby Red Potatoes
3 tablespoons Butter
1-1/2 tablespoon Chives
1-1/2 teaspoon fresh Parsley
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
Kosher Salt to taste
Fresh Black Pepper to taste
Scrub potato skins well, set aside.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes and cook for 8 to 12 minutes or until tender.
While potatoes cook, finely mince chives, parsley and garlic, set aside.
Once the potatoes are tender, drain and return to the saucepan. Toss potatoes with butter, chives and parsley. Season generously to taste.
Transfer potatoes to a warm serving bowl and serve immediately.
Creamed Peas with Pearl Onions
1-1/2 cups Pearl Onions
2 cups frozen Peas
1 cup Heavy Cream
1 tablespoon Butter
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/8 teaspoon White Pepper
Onion Powder to taste
Roasted Garlic Powder to taste
Fill a saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Cook pearl onions in boiling water for 3 minutes, drain, and rinse in cold water. Peel onions, and trim the ends.
Place onions with peas in the saucepan, and fill with enough water to just cover the vegetables. Simmer until tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, and place vegetables in a bowl, set aside.
Melt butter in the now empty saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour in cream, and season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil; cook until thick, stirring constantly. Stir peas and onions into the sauce to coat. Let simmer to warm through. Return to the bowl and serve immediately.
Pink Wine Jelly
1 bottle Pink Zinfandel Wine
1/4 cup Sugar
3 envelopes unflavored Gelatin Powder
Lightly oil an 8-inch square pan, set aside.
Pour about 1 cup of the wine into a small saucepan, add the sugar and 3 envelopes of gelatin. Stir over low heat to dissolve sugar and gelatin.
Once this has been dissolved, add the remaining wine to it and stir until fully combined. * Pour into the prepared pan and refrigerate until set.
Slide a knife around the edges of the pan, dip the bottom the pan into hot water. Invert onto a large plate or cutting board. Cut wine jelly into very small cubes to resemble gemstones.
Serve the jewels in dessert glasses.
Elegant Cheese and Fruit Platter
1 (8 oz) block White Cheddar Cheese
1 (8 oz) wedge Blue Cheese
1 (8 oz) round Brie Cheese
1 large crisp Red Delicious Apple
1 medium Pear
1 pint Strawberries
3/4 lb seedless Green Grapes
3/4 lb seedless Red Grapes
1 (7 oz) package dried Apricots
1/4 cup dried Cherries or sweetened dried cranberries
Rosemary Sprigs for garnish
Crackers for serving
On large serving platter, arrange cheeses in center. Cover; let stand at room temperature about 30 minutes.
When ready to serve, slice apples and pears and set aside. Cut strawberries in half, set aside. Break grapes into small clusters, set aside.
Arrange fresh fruit in groups around cheeses. Sprinkle dried apricots and cherries over cheeses and fruit. Tuck rosemary sprigs among fruit.
Serve with cheese planes for harder cheeses and cheese spreaders for soft cheeses. Arrange crackers on a plate alongside the platter.
2 thoughts on “A Dark and Tragic Night in April”
Lovely article, and menu!