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Category: 1970’s food

All The Z’s – Part 2 – Zakusi, My Way

For today’s venture into the world of food that starts with the letter z, we are travelling both to Russia and back to one of the first books I  ever featured on this blog – the totally bonkers Food For Lovers by Kellly Brodsky.

 The Zakusi were the perfect option as I have been waiting for an opportunity to use a gorgeous deviled egg dish given to me by my gorgeous friend Ali! 

Zakusi1

How adorable is this? But you know what’s really weird?  Sometimes I look at this photo and the eggs are concave (as they should be) and sometimes they look convex…

Zakusi2

But first, let’s talk about Food For Lovers. You can get the whole crazy by clicking the link above.  But for a tiny dose, read on.

The Zakusi recipe comes from the Freddy Finikin chapter.  The what you ask?  

Well, each chapter in Food For Lovers is named for a specific type of potential suitor – and provides the dishes to woo them – the way to a man’s heart being through his stomach and all…

Zakusi3

Here is part of the description of the Freddy Finikin:

Picky eaters make lousy lovers, so they say, and perhaps abstinence from gastronomic delights goes naturally hand in hand with lack of enthusiasm for amorous pursuits…The woman who falls for such a man is either unaware of his finickiness, or trapped,  or mad, or maybe she prefers to read in bed.

Brodsky then goes on to suggest that food to tempt a Freddy might include:

“Erotic cookery, the subtle use of aphrodisiacal dishes….eggs, caviar and roe”

Zakusi5

And in specific relation to the Zakusi 

“If his romantic inclinations are antiseptically bleak, stuff him with some potent Russian caviar, and before you know it he will be flinging himself into some exciting Cossack high kicks on the kitchen table, and perhaps in the boudoir”

So, if you want your fussy eater cavorting like this guy in the bedroom (and who wouldn’t?) then Zakusi is for you! And him. 

The original recipe reads like this:

“Take as many boiled eggs as you like, cut in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Now fill the whites liberally with Russian caviar, sprinkled with lemon juice.  Arrange eggs on your brightest platter and decorate with a little bit of chopped dill, white onion and chopped tomato.  Top with a dab of mayonnaise, a sprinkle of egg yolk an paprika.   Now bring on lashings of chilled vodka in those crazy little glasses and lots of richly buttered black bread.

Well, we’re not doing that because do you have any idea how much Russian caviar costs?  

Zakusi4

But we’re going to take the elements and make something equally delish!

Zakusi
A delicious version of a classic Russian hors doeuvre
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Ingredients
  1. 5 large eggs, boiled
  2. 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  3. 1/2 chopped tomato
  4. 1/4 finely chopped red onion
  5. 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  6. 2 tsp chopped dill
  7. 3 tsp salmon roe
  8. Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Halve the eggs legnthwise and carefully scoop out the yolks.
  2. Place in a bowl with the mayo, tomato, onion, paprika and half of the dill.
  3. Season to taste.
  4. Scoop this mixture back into the egg whites.
  5. Top with salmon roe and the remaining dill.
  6. For an authentic Russian feel, serve with vodka and black bread!
  7. хороший аппетит*
  8. *Enoy your meal in Russian
Adapted from Food For Friends by Kelly Brodsky (1973)
Adapted from Food For Friends by Kelly Brodsky (1973)
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
Zakusi7

So tell me?  Do you see the egg holes on that dish as concave or convex?

And what’s your favourite food starting with a Z?

Have a great week!  

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

This Paté is a Turkey!

Welcome to the end of the world.  Or at the very least the end of The A-Z of Cooking (1977). 

Prepare to feel robbed.  

Turkey Pate2

Dear A-Z of Cooking, 

Look…listen…over the past few years we’ve had joy, we’ve had fun, we’ve had seasons in the sun. 

There’ve been many good times.

Remember the Mushroom Cakes?

And the Brioche?

The Profiteroles?  They were awesome!

Okay, so it wasn’t always smooth sailing.  There were downs with those ups.

There was this:

Still one of the scariest pictures I have ever seen in the pages of a cookbook.

And lets not forget this delightful looking salad:

 

 

Or this suggestion for punishing people who drop in without notice:

 

But on the whole, it’s been good times.  

And this is how you end it?  With a Turkey Paté that looked like cat food until I slapped a few sage leaves and pomegranate seeds on top?  And, I might add, tasted of nothing?

And whilst we’re at it…right from the start you promised me an A-Z

So…ummm…why are we done after Yesterday’s Leftovers? 

Where’s my Z, you dick?

A-z

And a really bad turkey paté. 

And no Z.

Hopefully some better tips for using your Christmas leftovers can be found in the links below!

 

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

Moules Marinieres

Today we are heading back into The A-Z of Cooking to the chapter called Wine For a Change.  And on the menu is the classic French dish of Moules Marinieres.  This is one of my favourite dishes.  I probably make this around once a month – it ticks all my boxes – it’s healthy, it’s quick and it’s cheap and so, so, tasty!  Over the years my recipe has evolved so now I have my favourite version of Moules Marinieres which I will list below alongside a more pared back version from The A-Z.  
Moules Marinieres
Before we get into the Moules lets talk about this chapter.  Wine for a Change.  Not around here it isn’t. Around here it’s a basic food group.  So there goes that title.  There are some good recipes in this section.  The Moules, Coq au vin, Peaches in Wine….oh and veal kidneys with Marsala. 

You can’t win ’em all. (Sigh)

If the thought of veal kidneys with anything isn’t off-putting enough on its own, the picture is truly unsettling (It’s also at the very bottom of this post if you are brave enough). 

Moules Marinieres loosely translates as Sailor’s Mussels.  Be careful of your spelling if googling this.  You could end up with this: 

Hot damn! Ladies (and possibly gentlemen), don’t ever say I don’t give you anything.  Merry Christmas.  Happy Birthday and Goodnight Irene!

Where were we?  I seem to have lost my entire train of thought.  

Oh yeah, mussels.  The thing that takes the longest with the Moules Marinieres is all your prep work.  First you have to debeard and scrub all of your mussels.

Then cut up your veggies for your mirepoix  I use carrot, celery, fennel and onion in mine.  And for seasoning salt (I used the Port infused salt I bought in Portugal) peppercorns, a pinch of chilli flakes and a smashed garlic clove.

Mirepoix2

 

Cook these down then add some white wine and a splash of Pernod (optional but goes really well with the fennel and the mussels).  Cook these down a bit – the longer the better! Then add wine, Pernod if using and stock and bring to the boil.  Add the mussels.  Add a lid.  Shake the pan occasionally and in all of about 5 minutes you will have a piping hot bowl of mussels with a deliciously tasty broth.  

Moules Marinieres are great with bread to soak up all that broth.  And if that bread happens to be a tasty warm loaf of crusty garlic bread?  Heaven…I”m in heaven….

This time though I made mussels other best friend…frites.  With aioli.  Hard to tell from the pictures but there were three types of frites – potato, sweet potato and parsnip. 

Frites

 

The great thing about this recipe is that it is amenable to all sorts of changes.  Don’t like cream?  Don’t add it.  I quite often will throw in a can of tinned tomatoes.  Also, (and this is where i am sure I will have the purists tutting at me) if you can’t be arsed debearding and scrubbing the mussels, most supermarkets now sell frozen mussel meat.  I  always have a pack of this in my freezer so can whip this up at any time.  One codicil on that though.  The shells on fresh mussels do seem to add some extra flavour.  If using mussel meat alone be sure to use a really good fish stock in your broth!

Here is the original recipe from The A-Z of Cooking and the original picture.  I cannot tell you how much I  love and covet that terracotta mussel pot.  Straight to the top of my list of kitchen must haves!!!  

Moules Recipe

Moules A-Z

And here is my slightly fancier version:

Moules Marinieres (With Frites)
A classic French seafood dish
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For The Mussels
  1. 4 dozen mussels
  2. 125 ml dry white wine (I used a semillon sauvignon blanc)
  3. 250ml fish or vegetable stock
  4. 1 bouquet garni
  5. 1 carrot finely diced
  6. 1/2 fennel finey diced
  7. 2 stalks celery finety diced
  8. 1 snall red onion finely diced
  9. 1 garlic clove, crushe
  10. 6 black peppercorns
  11. 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  12. salt
  13. 3 tbsp cream
  14. 1 tbsp chopped parsley
For the Frites
  1. 2 potatoes julienned
  2. 1 large sweet potato, julienned
  3. 3 parsnips, julienned
  4. Olive oil
  5. Salt
For the Aioli
  1. 3 cloves of garlic, roasted with the frites for 15 minutes
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  4. 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  5. 1/2 cup olive oil or a blend of olive and vegetable oil
  6. Salt and Pepper
For The Frites
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C.
  2. Toss the julienned veggies and 3 cloves of unpeeled garlic (for the aioli) into a bowl with a glug of olive oil, and some salt.
  3. Spread in a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 15 – 30 minutes (depending on size of the fries) or until golden brown, flipping halfway through. At the half way mark, remove the garlic cloves and make the aioli.
For The Aioli
  1. Squeeze the roasted garlic from the skins and add to a foo processor with the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard until combined and smooth.
  2. With the food processor running add the oil in a thin stream until the mixture becomes thick and creamy.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
For the Mussels
  1. Scrub and debeard the mussels, discarding any that are open or have holes in them. Run cold water over them and drain.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrots, fennel, onion and celery, salt, pepper and chilli if using and stir occasionally until softened (around 5 minutes).
  3. Add the wine, stock pernod and boquet garni. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for around 5 minutes.
  4. Add the mussels to the pan. Close the lid and cook for around 5 minutes or until the mussels have opened, shaking the pan every now and again.
  5. Remove the mussels from the pan and keep warm.
  6. Turn up the heat on the liquid left in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has reduced by about a third.
  7. Check for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
  8. Swirl in the cream.
  9. Pour the sauce over the mussels, sprinkle with the parsley and serve with the frites and aioli.
  10. Bon Appetit!
Notes
  1. This dish originates from the Normandy region of France. Another variation that is true to the region is to sub out the white wine and pernod and to use cider instead!
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
So, there is only ONE Chapter left in The A-Z!  Will I be able to get it out before Christmas? 

Absolutely not because one of the key ingredients will be a Christmas leftover.  And yes, I will be slapping people’s hands away from the plate if there is even the remotest chance of there not being enough leftovers to make it!

Will there be another post of any sort before the big day?

Almost definitely! 

See you in a couple of days!  

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
  Oh and for the bravest o the brave?   Here are those veal kidneys:

Recipe Revamp – SS’s Stuffed Onions

 

The story for these Stuffed Onions starts WAAAAAAYYYY back to my first Pieathalon in 2015.  My pie was a Belgian Onion Pie chosen for me by the wonderful S.S. from A Book Of Cookrye.  If you are ever in need of a chuckle, giggle or even a downright belly laugh, you must check this blog out.  S.S. has a wit drier than the Sahara.  You know, I try really hard to be funny.  I feel with S.S. that it is just effortless.  A Book of Cookrye is always just so, so good! 

Stuffed Onions2Below the recipe for the Belgian Onion Pie that S.S sent me there was a picture of some little balls of delight (STOP IT. NOW! ) which I mistakenly took for a picture of the finished Belgian Onion Pies.  I assumed that the recipe was going to be some wacky Belgian reverso situation where the onion was the “pastry” and the filling was…I have no idea…crumbly pastry?

Belgian-Onion-Pie-Filling-Recipe (2)Sadly this was not the case.  But I hold out hope for the Belgians  They invented Smurfs, they can invent a reverso onion pie if they really put their mind to it…maybe after Brexit is over they’ll have some time on their hands for pie shenanigans. 

Anyhow, after probably eye-rolling and face-palming at my inability to understand the difference between a PIE and a STUFFED VEGETABLE, S.S then v kindly sent me the recipe for the stuffed onions.  Which I promptly printed and lost.  Then about six months later I found it again and made them.  They were….flawed but had potential.  I started thinking about how to improve the recipe.  After a while I made them again.  And again.  Then, earlier this year I was getting ready to post the improved version when my laptop died and I lost all my photos and my improvement notes.

However, cursed as this recipe may be, it was also like a ghost haunting me.  So, recently, despite history indicating that the Stuffed Onions post would never see the light o’ day, I made them  again. With what I could remember of the improvements. 

And they were fabby!  So tasty!

Stuffed onions3

I am still waiting for the world to implode when I post this though…

Let’s have a look at the original recipe and then have a chat about how I changed it.

Stuffed Onions recipe

  • Sausage meat is almost invariably going to have a high fat content.  Adding cream to something that is already fatty made the mixture far too greasy.  Believe me, your mouth will be coated in it and it almost feels like your whole face is smothered in a layer of grease. Mrs Dan Sartor may have been a  fan of the feeling like she had been dragged backwards through a pork chop but I do not.  So the cream is gone. As is the butter.
  • The wine does not have to be white.  I used a beef sausage and felt a red was a better match for the robust onion and beef flavours. 
  • Next…I don’t really understand inches but Google tells me that a 1/4 inch is 6mm which I feel is too much onion.  I took mine back to 2- 3 layers of onion. Which is more than enough. 
  • Depending on what kind of sausages you have you can also  add in flavourings like chilli, garlic, a teaspoon of tomato paste, or even a couple of finely chopped mushrooms (Sorry Jenny) to  the mix. 
  • Finally save some of those breadcrumbs for a little sprinkle of the top to add a little bit of crunch.  If you happen to have some dukkah to add to that sprinkle so much the better!
  • I served mine on a toasted piece of baguette.  The main ingredients – sausage, onion, bread are reminiscent of a hot dog so you could use whatever you like on your hot dogs.  I had some aioli and rocket but swap in whatever condiments you like!  Or replace the aioli with a slice of cheese.  Maybe if you are using a spicy sausage like a chorizo add some guacamole.  And throw some black beans into your sausage mix….
  • You could pretty much style this baby up into anything you wanted just by changing the type of sausage and the condiments / veggies. 

Stuffed Onions4Here’s the updated recipe.

Stuffed Onions
A modern take on a vintage stuffed onion recipe!
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Ingredients
  1. 8 medium onions
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 2 sausages, your choice of flavour,
  4. 2 tbsp plus more for sprinkling over the top, breadcrumbs
  5. 1 handful of chopped parsley
  6. 1/2 tsp thyme leaves
  7. 1 cup beef or chicken or vegetable stock
  8. 1/2 cup dry white or red wine (your preference)
  9. 1 tbsp dukkah to garnish (optional)
  10. 8 small sprigs of thyme to ganish (optional)
Serving Suggestion
  1. 8 slices of baguette
  2. Aioli
  3. Rocket Leaves
Instructions
  1. Peel the onions and cut the top and bottom off so they sit flat.
  2. Scoop out the insides so 2/3 layers of onion are left.
  3. Finely chop half of the scooped out onion. (Save the rest for another recipe).
  4. Blanch the cases for 5 minutes then leave to dry.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a skillet then add the chopped onions. Allow them to soften and colour slightly - about 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the sausage meat from the skins and crumble into the onion mix. Cook for around 5 minutes.
  7. Drain off the excess fat and add half of the wine and the breadcrumbs..
  8. Cook for a few minutes then add the herbs, salt and pepper.
  9. Fill the shells with the stuffing mix.
  10. Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and the dukkah if using.
  11. Garnish with a ting sprig of thyme.
  12. Arrange the onions in serving dish. Pour in the stock and the remaining wine.
  13. Bake in a 180C / 350F oven for 45 minutes, basting occasionally.
  14. Meantime, toast the baguette slices.
  15. Spread with the aioli and the rocket.
  16. Top with the cooked onions.
Notes
  1. Stuffing ingredients and serving suggestions can be modified based on the type of sausages you use and your favourite condiments.
Adapted from The Cotton Country Collection from 1972
Adapted from The Cotton Country Collection from 1972
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
A huge thanks to S.S for the recipe!  Sorry it has taken so long!  Thanks also to Mrs Dan Sartor for the original recipe.  And thanks also to my sadly deceased stepfather who, when ever anyone mentioned anything stuffed vis a vis “Hey I  made stuffed onions today”  would respond by saying something along the lines of “Oh…I”m sure they weren’t that bad” or “What’s important is that you tried”.  Those jokes were running rampant through my head for entire length of this post! 

Dad  jokes are the worst! 

Until you don’t have them anymore…

Huh…Way to finish on a downer.

Ummm….looks around frantically for something to lighten the tone….

Okay, here are some rather unappetizing vintage ideas for stuffed onions!

Here’s a thrifty way to “Satisfy your Inner Man”

Vintage Stuffed Onions2I’m not sure.  I feel like my inner man would prefer a steak…

And as for this next one all I’m going to say is creamed diced carrots. 

You can fill in the blanks on that one….

Vintage Stuffed Onions1Have a great week!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

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Eggs With Spinach and Fashion Tips From Dinah Shore

Eggs and Spinach are a classic combo. Think Eggs Florentine, Spinach Quiche or Spinach Soufflé.  Well today we are using eggs and spinach to create a twist on the dish The A -Z of Cooking calls Eggs With Spinach.  Uh huh.  What it lacks in imagination, it makes up for in precision.  But it’s also from a chapter called Watching Your Weight and, to be honest, the original recipe was a little meh….So, whilst staying in the spirit of Eggs with Spinach here’s my version.  What it lacks in weight watching, it makes up for in flavour. 

Given that choice, always make flavour the winner.  Just go for a run the next day!

Eggs withspinach6My eggs and spinach recipe contains spinach lightly sauteed in garlic, mixed with a little cream, sprinkled with nutmeg, topped with cheese and baked with an egg until the white is set and the yolk is runny perfection!

Eggs with Spinach1Did anyone say brunch?  These eggs with spinach scale up really well for a group at brunch or make a great quick and easy supper for one!

Eggs with Spinach2

I used fresh baby spinach in my Eggs with Spinach, however you could use frozen.  Below is a great vintage ad for frozen spinach.  Note the awesome striped t-shirt being worn by Dinah Shore and the perfectly coordinated polka dot apron.  She’s rocking my favourite patterns and showing that the rule of “blue and green should never be seen” is as dumb AF.   Go Dinah. Vintage Spinach2OMG, I only just noticed her gorgeous green shoes with the bows.  I want that entire outfit!  I wonder if  back in the day women everywhere were also exclaiming “Glory be….fuck the spinach, get me that t-shirt and those shoes…” 

Does anyone say “Glory be” anymore? 

Did anyone ever?

Before we travel down that etymological rabbit hole here’s the recipe:

Eggs with Spinach
Serves 2
A delicious quick and easy dish for brunch, lunch or supper!
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Ingredients
  1. 500g baby spinach
  2. 1 garlic clove, crushed
  3. 25g butter
  4. salt and pepper
  5. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  6. 2 tbsp cream
  7. 4 tbsp grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced.
  2. Lightly grease four 3/4 cup-capacity ovenproof dishes.
  3. Wash the baby spinach.
  4. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat and add the garlic.
  5. Saute for a minute or two until the garlic softens but does not change colour.
  6. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
  7. Take off the heat and stir in the cream and nutmeg.
  8. Divide the spinach into two and place in two ramekin dishes.
  9. Make an indent in the middle and break and egg into each.
  10. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
  11. Season with salt and pepper.
  12. Bake for around 15 minutes or until the egg white is just set but yolk is still runny.
  13. Remove from oven. Stand for 2 minutes.
  14. Serve with toast.
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/
If you would also like to rock Dinah’s look here is my take on it:

The Dinah CollectionTop:

Scarf (Replaces Apron)   or add a bit of green with something like this

Skirt

Shoes     And more shoes

That was awesome fun!  Now I gotta go do it in real life.  Have a good one!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

 

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