Tag Archives: vincent price

More Trader Vic’s

13 Oct

We have a wee crazy thing for all things Polynesian circa 1950.

Here is Vincent Price’s Steak Teriyaki:



Peanut Sauce

1 onion

6 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1 dash tabasco

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Saute onion in butter until golden brown.  Stir in peanut butter.  When melted, add the tabasco, salt and pepper.  Stir well.


Sweet and Sour Sauce

1/2 cup pineapple juice

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup ketchup

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Bring to a boil the half cup of pineapple juice.  Stir in the brown sugar, ketchup and soy sauce.  Simmer.  Stir in cornstarch mixed with 1 or 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice.  Boil and stir well.

Steak Teriyaki

1-2 lbs round steak, cut in 1/4 inch slices*

1/4 cup sweet and sour sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon sherry or bourbon whiskey

2 tablespoons honey

bamboo skewers

Thread steak slices onto skewers.  Place carefully into plastic bag.  Combine other ingredients and pour over steak.  Force out air in bag and seal.  Marinate in refrigerator overnight. Broil 5 minutes.

Butterfly Steak Hong Kong
By Mary and Vincent Price, Adapted from A Treasury of Great Recipes

“Sometimes when life in an American city gets too jazzy, too brassy, too urban to bear for another minute, its citizens long to escape to some South Sea Island. When that happens, those that are really loaded with loot can book a flight on the next Pacific jet. Those who are only fairly flush can book a table at Trader Vic’s. In New York you walk off the sidewalk of East 58th Street and stumble into a shadowy Polynesian world dreamed up by a decorator in love with bamboo, wicker, fish net, votive lights and the arts and crafts of the Outer Marquesas. Never mind all that. The food at Trader Vic’s is marvelous, and would taste just as good at an unromantic Automat. Their Butterfly Steak with a hot sauce is particularly good, and a fine chafing dish recipe for a small dinner at home.”

350g / 12 ounce boneless sirloin steak, about 2.5 cm / 1 inch thick

1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon cognac

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3/4 cup beef stock

1/2 teaspoon salt and dash of pepper

dash of bottled steak sauce

dash of chili sauce

1 jigger of cognac

Trim the fat from the steak and with a sharp knife cut it almost in half horizontally. Open it up and spread it flat, so that it resembles a butterfly with open wings.

Pound to flatten a little and sprinkle with the MSG. Rub 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper and 1 tablespoon cognac into meat and let stand about 15 minutes.

Place under hot broiler or grill, and cook 3 minutes per side for rare.

Place on a hot platter and keep warm.


In the top of a chafing dish put: 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 3/4 cup beef stock, 1/2 teaspoon salt, dash of pepper, dash of bottled steak sauce, dash of chili sauce. Stir and cook until sauce bubbles.

Put steak in chafing dish and spoon sauce over it. Heat 1 jigger of cognac and pour, flaming, over the steak.

Vincent Price Cookalong!

4 Nov


Halloween time or not, there’s little more terrifying than liver.

We kid, we kid.

This 1970s chicken liver risotto recipe from Vincent Price — courtesy of Jenny from Silver Screen Suppers — is more treat than trick.

VPH Cookalong

My mother armed her cooking arsenal with Vincent Price recipes early and — lucky us — his Yorkshire pudding, Quiche Lorraine and Sweet Mouthful (Boccone Dolce) remain in heavy rotation.

When Jenny announced her Vincent Price Halloween Cookalong, I was keen to take part in the virtual reality potluck party because I am a Halloween freak, and I knew the recipes were going to be solid.

She assigned me this recipe for Chicken Liver Risotto from Cooking Price-Wise:Chicken Liver Risotto-2 pic

When I first saw the bacon, chicken livers, onions, mushrooms, and cheese, the flavours made me think of autumn. How woodsy and fitting for Halloween. If there was a killer lurking nearby, even better.

Price’s recipe is brief: there are no fussy risotto instructions warning that you’ll fail if you aren’t simmering your stock in a nearby pot, or that you’ll end up with a sticky clump of something resembling risotto if you don’t add slowly as each ladleful evaporates.

No matter. It works. I’ll admit I was frightened the bacon fat is never drained, but I got over it when saw the glistening grains of rice coated in that swirling sheen of fat.

If you are a chicken liver hater, you could leave them out and enjoy a bacon mushroom risotto, but in truth the livers break down and impart an earthy flavour that really gives the dish body.


This is a creamy, rich risotto and perfect as it is. I was so tempted to add a splash of brandy to the livers, or a glug of white wine as I usually do as I’m stirring the rice constantly. But I’m glad I made it as written.

Thanks Jenny for your deliciously demented idea and letting me play along, and kudos global potluckers — I’m loving your blogs!

Here are links for your enjoyment:

Michael of Michael MacMahon – Chicken in Vermouth
Cathy of Battenburg Belle also made the Pumpkin Pie
Ruth of Mid Century Menu also made version 2 of Vincent’s Bloody Mary and his Pumpkin Pie

Sweet endings

10 Apr

It feels weird that Vincent Price is the man my family credits for the sweetest, most angelic dessert we know.

His 1965 Joy of Creepy cookbook (Treasury of Great Recipes) is the source of our treasured family treat.
Boccone Dolce (“sweet mouthful”) is from Sardi’s on West 44th Street in Manhattan’s theater district.
It is ridiculous.

It’s an ice-box cake made with meringue, fresh strawberries, whipped cream and a touch of chocolate.


UPDATE: We recently succumbed to a fit of the lazies and tried to make one large meringue (which we baked slowly for close to two hours)

But we should have left the chocolate sparse: we coated the whole thing and the cream couldn’t penetrate to soften the base. So while it looked good and tasted good, it was tough to cut and turned into a shipwreck.


(Sweet Mouthful)

Preheat oven to 250.
Meringue Layers: 3 base layers which can be done days ahead.
(some recipes call for 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and 250 oven)

4 egg whites, room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 225 degrees. In mixer, beat egg whites, salt, cream of tartar, and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating until meringue is stiff and glossy.

Line baking sheets with parchment. Trace three, eight inch circles on paper

With a rubber spatula, spread meringue evenly and equally over top of the circles. bake approximately 2 hours or until meringue becomes bisque colored. The low temperature will prevent them from browning too quickly. Then turn off oven, open oven door and let meringues “rest” in oven another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully peel off parchment or waxed paper. Put cake on racks to dry until thoroughly cool.

Once cooled, meringues may be wrapped in saran and frozen or just store in an airtight container if using within the next 24 hours. NOTE: Wrap each meringue in several saran layers, then stack in a large plastic container for freezing. Remove from freezer at least an hour before assembling.

6 ounces of semisweet chocolate pieces
3 Tbsp. water
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
3 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 pints berries, sliced and macerated with sugar
Chocolate curls (for garnish) I just shaved some chocolate over the top
Melt chocolate pieces over hot water. When perfectly smooth, remove from heat and cool.

In a large bowl, whip the cream until stiff; gradually add powdered sugar and then vanilla extract. (try a splash of grand marnier)

Take two lbs./pints of fresh strawberries. Pick out the eight prettiest berries and put them back in the fridge for later. Hull and slice, or half, the rest of the berries into a bowl and sweeten with a half cup of sugar.

Stir gently, cover, and put back in fridge for an hour or two.

To assemble, place a meringue layer on a serving plate, rounded side down. Spread a very thin coating of chocolate over it. NOTE: Go easy on chocolate, too much will make it impossible to cut cake! I used a pastry brush to spread the chocolate.

Top chocolate with a layer (about 3/4 inch thick) of whipped cream.

Top cream with a layer of sliced berries.
Place a second layer of meringue on top of this, and repeat filling.
Top with final meringue, rounded side up (some say down), and frost top smoothly with remaining whipped cream.

Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with several whole strawberries and chocolate curls.

This dessert is not the easiest to cut – use a serrated bread knife works well and use a sawing like motion.
And to gild the lily, here’s a remarkable peach meringue cake sweetened with butter cream and bolstered by ground almonds.

From Laura Calder
4 ounces ground almonds or hazelnuts
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
4 egg whites
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons125 g sugar (for the buttercream)
4 egg yolks (for the buttercream)
1 cup butter, very soft (for the buttercream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (for the buttercream)
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted (for the topping)
6 peaches, sliced (for the topping)

Make the cake: Heat the oven to 275°F/140°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment and draw on two 9-inch/23 cm circles. (You could also do rectangles). Combine the ground almonds, cornstarch, and all but 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Beat the whites to peaks, then beat in the remaining sugar to make a stiff meringue. Fold in the almond mixture in three batches to combine thoroughly. Using a piping bag with a large tip, pipe the meringue onto the circles on the parchment. Bake until crisp and dry, about an hour and a half.
Make the buttercream: Heat the sugar with 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons/100 ml water to dissolve, then boil to soft-ball stage, which is just before the syrup changes colour (239°F/115°C on a candy thermometer). Beat the egg yolks in a stand-up mixer, then, with the beaters running, quickly add the hot syrup in a thin stream. Continue beating until the mixture is cool and forms and thick mouse, about 5 minutes. Beat in the butter, gradually, and finally add the vanilla.
Assemble the cake: Set a round of meringue on a serving plate. Spread over a quarter of the buttercream. Lay in a layer of sliced peaches. Spread the top layer with buttercream and set it on top on the first. Spread the remaining butter cream over the sides of the cake. Press the toasted almonds all around the sides. Arrange another layer of peach slices on top.