Archive | retro recipes RSS feed for this section

Health burgers

23 Mar

8CEB9633-5AAC-43BB-9D16-D590FBAD1536

We clipped this from Bon Appetit’s RSVP section from a reader asking for a California restaurant’s recipe. Very 1980s, no?

2E34A841-AC0B-4497-A989-628CF222FFA6

We toasted the nuts but made the mistake of pureeing the whole mess, resulting in a homogeneous mixture. Next time, we’ll stir chopped nuts and onion into the puréed chickpea, curry and parsley mix. In other words, we’ll follow the goddamned recipe as written. Sheesh!

NUTBURGERS

8 servings
3 15-oz cans garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and mashed (we used 2 19 oz) or pureed
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 cup chopped almonds (toasted)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1 tsp curry power
1/2 tsp vegetable salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

oil for frying
sharp cheddar slices
8 pitas
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 avocados, finely diced
1/2 bunch green leaf lettuce, chopped (we used alfalfa sprouts)

Combine beans, onion, parsley, nuts, seeds, curry powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add egg and mix well. Form into eight 3 x 3/4 inch patties.
Pour oil into heavy large skillet to depth of 1/4 inch. Place over medium high heat. When oil is hot, add patties and fry until lightly browned, about four minutes. Turn and fry the other side for four minutes, topping with cheese while the other side cooks.
Drain patties on paper towel.
Lightly spread inside of pitas with mustard. Place patty in each, add tomato, avocado and lettuce. Spoon dressing over filling.

Update: frying was a disaster so the second time we baked them at 350F on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Success! They stayed intact.

Creamy Herbal Dressing
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup yogurt
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
1/4 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp Worchestershire
1/4 tsp vegetable salt
combine in a processor or blender until smooth.

We spooned into a squeeze bottle.

Advertisements

Monterey Chicken

6 Mar

cookbookcherie.wordpress.com

There’s good reason Chili’s removed Monterey Chicken from its menu: with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy (and broccoli) it topped the scales at a whopping 3,000 calories. Yeesh.

We managed to recreate the delicious combination of smokey sweet grilled chicken with monterey jack cheese and bacon but showered it with juicy diced tomatoes and green onion. We served it with a side of roasted vegetables (mushrooms, broccoli and mixed peppers) so tasty on their own that they needed no embellishment. Pictured below: crispy smashed baby potatoes roasted with olive oil and fresh rosemary.

C94969B3-A6BF-4296-921E-86527BDCCF3F

IMG_4029

Monterey Chicken

6 chicken thighs

1/2 cup barbecue sauce (We used Stubbs)

6 slices monterey jack cheese (we used deli counter slices)

1/2 lb applewood smoked bacon, baked on an elevated rack for 20 minutes at 375F, and blotted after cooking

container of grape tomatoes, diced

3 green onions, chopped

parsley or cilantro (if you have)

Grill chicken on medium heat, basting with barbecue sauce.

When done, turn heat on low and top chicken with cheese slices to melt. Remove from grill onto a warmed platter and immediately top with bacon (slices or crumbled – we put the bacon underneath the cheese the first time and learned it’s better on top). Scatter tomatoes and green onion and greens on top.

 

IMG_4028

HoJo’s barbecue sauce

21 Feb

True to our name, we are Saucy! And on a mission to monkey around with mid-century barbecue sauce recipes.

This one comes from someone who owns a kitchen copy of the Howard Johnson’s master chef’s kitchen cookbook “that were given to all the restaurants way back when. Various sources tell me it is the kitchen copy of plating and recipes that were used from about the years 1946 through the early sixties for various menu items before all the HJ’s started a more standardized menu in the mid/late 1960s and started also using the “commissary” for getting in prepackaged items for food preparation.”

Howard Johnson’s Bar-B-Q Sauce – 2 Quarts

1/2 can No. 10 tomatoes (a No. 10 can is 6 lbs 6 oz; 102 oz; or 2.89 kg (or about 12 cups) So recipe is calling for a bit more than six cups.

4 cloves garlic

1/2 onion

2 oz fat

10 oz Worcestershire Sauce

4 1/2 cups catsup

1 cup vinegar

1 qt water

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp celery salt

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne

4 drops tabasco sauce

Put tomatoes through a sieve. Chop garlic and onions and fry in fat. Mix Worcestershire sauce, catsup, vinegar and warm water together. Add black pepper, salt, celery salt, paprika, cayenne and tabasco sauce. Combine all ingredients and cook for 10 minutes.

Mark R & Uncle Phaedrus

Cooking in the movies

13 Nov

four seasons

We are on a weird nostalgic 1970s/80s California cooking and gourmet revolution kick. There’s a scene in Alan Alda’s The Four Seasons movie (1981) where the husbands in a group of married friends are cooking Chinese food for their wives at a cabin. They make a big show out of having packed proper woks, obsessively sourcing Asian eggplants and fresh ginger root. Rice noodle sticks explode into a cloud and the men are nearly smoked out of the kitchen trying to get the oil to a proper cooking temperature:

“The oil’s not hot enough. You cannot cook Chinese food properly unless the oil is 480 degrees. It’s a scientific fact.”

“Who said that, Einstein?”

“Newton. Isaac Newton, inventor of mu shu pork.”

The scene takes up only a few minutes of the movie but it has stuck with us all these years. Thanks daytime television. The group’s excitement and pleasure over their exotic creation of Chinese chicken salad, rice and eggplant makes us appreciate the exploding gourmet food trends and cooking craze of the 1970s and 80s. It makes us imagine the treasures to be found at Williams and Sonoma, New York’s Silver Palate, Berekely’s Chez Panisse, in the pages of Gourmet magazine, but especially inside Barbara Tropp’s China Moon Cafe:

STIR-FRIED SHRIMP WITH FENNEL, LEMON AND ANGEL-HAIR NOODLES

The shrimp and the marinade:

1 tablespoon egg white
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or quality dry Sherry
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 pound medium (25 to 30) shrimp, shelled and deveined

The sauce:
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1/8 cup Chinese rice wine or quality dry Sherry
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce (Koon Yick Wah Kee brand recommended)
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water

The noodles:
1/3 pound Chinese egg noodles (or any thin, fresh pasta)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili oil
The minced zest from half a lemon

The vegetables:
3 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 cup 1/4-inch-thick slices fennel bulb
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 slim scallions, the green and the white part cut in very thin rounds
1/2 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes
The julienned zest from half a lemon
2 teaspoons thinly sliced rings of hot fresh chili pepper, such as Fresno or Serrano (optional)
2 cups 1/2-inch-thick strips of Napa cabbage

The garnish: Fennel sprigs 2 scallions, the green and the white part cut in very thin rounds.

1. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade in a medium-sized bowl until thoroughly combined. Add the shrimp, toss so they are coated with the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 8 to 36 hours.

2. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch and water, in a large bowl and reserve. Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and reserve.

3. Bring four cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, then remove from the heat and add the shrimp. Leave them in the hot water just until they turn pink, about 20 seconds. Drain and reserve.

4. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the noodles and stir to separate, then cook until al dente. Drain, run under cold water to cool them and drain well. Toss in a large bowl with the chili oil and the minced lemon zest. Reserve.

5. Heat one tablespoon of the peanut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Stir-fry the onions just until they turn golden at the edges, about one-and-a-half minutes. Add the bell peppers and stir-fry until they become slightly limp, about two-and-a-half minutes. Add the fennel and stir until it begins to turn limp but is still crisp, about three-and-a-half minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate and return the skillet to the heat.

6. Add the additional oil to the skillet and, when the oil is nearly smoking, add the ginger, garlic, scallions and hot chili-pepper flakes and lower the heat to medium so they foam without browning. Cook just until they release their fragrance, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon zest and the hot pepper slices, stir, then add the Napa cabbage and stir-fry until it becomes glossy and is slightly cooked, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked noodles and stir-fry just until they are hot, about two minutes, then add the cooked vegetables and toss until all of the ingredients are mixed. Increase the heat to high and add the sauce mixture. Cover and bring to a boil, then add the shrimp and toss until they are incorporated into the mixture. When the mixture returns to a simmer, add the cornstarch mixture and stir, then cook just until the sauce becomes glossy and slightly thickened, about one minute. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl, garnish with the fennel sprigs and scallion rings and serve immediately.

Yield: Four servings as a main course.

Cooking with Joan Didion

13 Nov

Outtake: American writer Joan Didion prepares a meal in her Malibu kitchen

IMG_5321IMG_5323IMG_5320

PARSLEY SALAD 
Didion says this serves serves 35-40. I’m tempted to try it with kale and top it with toasted breadcrumbs like Una’s.
8 bunches Italian parsley
Blend 16 T olive oil with one head parsley until smooth
Blend in 4 T balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper
When ready to serve place parsley in 1 1/3 C grated parmesan in bowl, toss with dressing.

On March 27 2005 at 1:30 PM J & J have become just J. Joan had Q and Jerry and twenty seven others for Baked Ham, Alice Water’s coleslaw, and deviled eggs.

ALICE WATERS’ COLESLAW
1 medium cabbage (about 3 pounds), outer leaves removed
1 large jalapeno pepper
1/2 small red onion, cut in half through the stem, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
3 to 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 to 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Maldon or other sea salt or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or more to taste
Large pinch of sugar or more to taste.

Quarter the cabbage through the core; cut out the core. Cut the quarters crosswise in half; finely shred, using a sharp knife. Place shredded cabbage in a very large bowl or pot (you will have about 5 1/2 quarts). Cut open the jalapeno, discard the seeds and dice it fine. Add diced jalapeno, onion and cilantro to the cabbage and toss to mix. Sprinkle with the lime juice, vinegar, oil, salt, pepper and sugar, and toss to coat.

Let slaw sit for 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Drain; taste and adjust seasonings. Wait another hour. Serve at room temperature.

Sunday Lunch April 8 2007. Joan and no J and no Q had twenty-two for chicken hash, yellow pepper, crab and mustard sauce, chocolates, brie.

DEVILED CRAB
For 1 pound of crabmeat:

Melt 4 T butter, sauté 1/4 tp 1/2 cup chopped celery and 3 chopped scallions. Stir in 1/2 t dry mustard, 1 T flour, cayenne and salt. Add 1 container heavy cream, thicken a bit, stir in crabmeat.

Pour into baking dish, finish with dried bread crumbs, Parmesan, and paprika. In oven 15 minutes, finish under broiler until brown.

 

 

IMG_5322

VODKA SAUCE
(for pound of pasta)

1 stick butter, 1 t red pepper flakes, 1 c vodka, 1 8-oz can tomato sauce, 1 tomato, 1 c heavy cream

 

PESTO
(for pound of pasta)
a cup and a half (about one ounce) of basil leaves, loosely packed
a handful of parsley leaves
1/8 ¼ cup pine nuts
several garlic cloves
a teaspoon of red pepper flakes
a quarter ½ cup olive oil

Blend together, gradually adding oil and then mixing in pepper flakes.

IMG_5324

Sausage gravy and biscuits

11 Oct

6B64625C-8B16-4203-AEB9-778DC69E53EE

It may not be pretty, but a plate of biscuits swimming in sausage gravy is mighty fine.

As cozy as woolen socks on a winter morning or as life-bringing after an over-served summer night, it is pure southern comfort.

Go south and start with good biscuits*, like Great Grandmother Ruth’s, taking care to use whipping cream and “not that slop from the supermarket:”

FullSizeRender-2

Or head north with Grandma Nora’s:

FullSizeRender-3FullSizeRender-4

Just don’t let a feud errupt!

Our lazy gravy version is simple, as this dish should be. But we are icked out by the call for Bisquick mix. Surely a small amount of effort is justifiable.

1/2 lb Jimmy Dean sausage

2 tbsp flour

2 cups of milk

Crumble sausage and brown in a large skillet. Add flour and cook. Pour in milk and stir until the gravy thickens.

This New York Times version calls for twice as much sausage, so if you are partial to milky gravy, try the portions above. Some people add dashes of Worcestershire or a splash of morning coffee to give the gravy a less pallid colour.

Either way, keep things simple and you’ll agree: sausage gravy and biscuits are mighty fine.

 

1 pound bulk pork breakfast sausage (quality counts and skip the mild).

¼ cup all-purpose flour, or instant flour like Wondra

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

2½ cups whole milk

Salt to taste

ground sage to taste (optional)

ground fennel to taste (optional)

ground red pepper to taste

Set a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and cook the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it is loose and no longer pink, approximately 10 minutes. Taste sausage and adjust seasonings — you may wish to add sage and fennel aggressively.

Sprinkle the flour and pepper over the sausage and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour has been absorbed by the fat and has gathered its flavors close, approximately 2 to 5 minutes.

Slowly stir in the milk and cook at a bare simmer until the gravy gets thick and the roux covers the back of a spoon. If it is too thick for your liking add more milk and stir. Check seasonings and serve over split or roughly crumbled biscuits.

*Biscuit notes:

Would like to try 3 cups flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt mixed with 2 cups of cream. Brush tops with cream and bake at 400F for 15 or so minutes.

Country Club Hamburgers

12 Aug

When we’re not obsessing over 1980s Seventeen Now You’re Cooking pages, we’re smitten with Better Homes and Gardens 1950s and 60s cookbooks.

And this artery-clogging, but super summery supper:

retro recipes, country club hamburgers, seventeen magazine recipes, better homes and gardens

And get a load of these “high-society franks.” Highly questionable, more like.burger 2

high society franks

Stuffed patties are a bit of work, but we are intrigued by the bacon collar and think these patties would be exceptional served sans buns and with a spectacular summer veg and herb salad.

Egads: what if you subbed in split, grilled kielbasa for the franks, swapped the pickle for sauerkraut topped with the same duchess potato topping. Very prairie! Photos to follow!

COUNTRY CLUB HAMBURGERS
Better Homes and Gardens Best Buffets 1963

2 lbs ground beef
Blue Cheese Filling (Note: another online version has doubled these amounts)
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon crumbled blue cheese
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion (we’ll grate and add juice)
1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon prepared mustard

12 slices bacon, precooked slightly (we will look for the thinnest slices possible).
Salt
Pepper
6 large, well shaped mushrooms

Divide ground beef in 12 mounds. Flatten each between squares of waxed paper to 1/2 inch thickness.

For Blue-cheese filling, cream the cheeses together; stir in onion, horseradish, and mustard. Top half the patties with filling, leaving 1/2-inch margin for sealing.  Cover filling with remaining patties, sealing edges well.  Wrap edges of each burger with the bacon, using 2 slices and securing ends with toothpicks.  Broil 5 inches from heat about 6 minutes; sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Turn and broil about 5 minutes more or until done just the way you like them; season second side.

Flute the mushroom caps. While burgers are cooking, lightly brown mushrooms in butter (we’ll let them bubble away in our mini cast iron frying pan on the grill, maybe with a shot of brandy). Top each burger with a mushroom.

Makes 6 servings.

*If beef is lean, have 6 ounces of suet ground with this amount.  Burgers will be at their very best!