Tag: 1970’s Cookbooks

Walnut and Avocado Salad, Seeing Double & Mysteries Solved

When is a salad not a salad?  When it comes from The A-Z of Cooking.  There is no way in the world that I would call this a salad.  It’s much more of a dip.  But The A-Z calls it a salad so, Walnut and Avocado Salad it is.  Even if we all secretly know it’s a dip.  

Walnut and Avocado SaladThis was kind of….meh.  And you know what?  I strongly recommend that you make guac instead.  Because a good guac is awesome!  But first, there is an elephant in the room and it needs to be addressed.  You may be thinking that because we have labelled something a salad when it is quite clearly a dip that we have reached S.  Not so fast there Speedy.  We’re actually still at R.  How so?  Refreshing Salads.  Yeah,  I know I should  have ceased to be surprised at the randomness of The A-Z by now.  But it’s ONE letter..it’s at the back of the Chapter, right next to the start of the S’s. Couldn’t they have?  Shouldn’t they have? Why didn’t they?

Walnut and Avocado Salad2But wait, there’s  more.   When I turned the page over to “Refreshing Salads” my eye was caught by the words Greek Salata.  Now, I LOVE a Greek Salad.  Feta, olives, tomatoes….bring it on!  My mouth was already watering as I contemplated making eating one. In my mind, a Greek Salad should look exactly like this one from the Food Network:

So imagine my horror when my eyes were what can only be described as assaulted by this disgrace:

Oh. My. Lord.  Have you ever seen anything quite so hideous in your life?  Sadly, I have.  Because even as I was recoiling in horror, I realised I had seen something quite so hideous before.  In fact I had seen something exactly as fugly before because I had not only seen but posted on that very picture.  Right here.

WTF?  To paraphrase Lady Bracknell, to use this picture in one book may be regarded as misfortune; to use it in two looks like a blatant disregard for the eyes of one’s readers.  But then I was intrigued.  So, I went back to The Hot Weather Cookbook and flicked through it and there were six other photos IDENTICAL to those in The A-Z of Cooking!  They share a publisher, Octopus Books but neither book acknowledges that content previously appeared in the other. 

Now, it also just so happens that one of the photos that was replicated in both books was the mysterious Mango Mousse which I spoke about here.

Mango MousseNow I know that the mystery of what that is a picture of, seeing as it is quite clearly NOT a mango mousse has been keeping all of us awake since I first posted it back in March of 2015 (and yikes, has it really taken me over two years to cook through this book?).  And who knew that I had the key to the mystery within my grasp the entire time?  Because, if you look at page 113 of the Hot Weather Cookbook where the same recipe for Mango Mousse appears, there is a reference at the bottom of the page to the pictures contained overleaf  – Orange Soufflé (page 114).  Which is our mango mousse picture.

And, if we flick back to the recipe of Orange Soufflé?  Oranges, passionfruit, cream eggs….I’m totally ignoring the random bananas but  I think we have a contender!

Orange SouffleMystery solved.  I feel like a culinary Mulder and Scully.  I have been tossing up as to whether I should take up one of those Hunt A Killer subscriptions I keep hearing about on all my podcasts.  After this bit of sleuthing I am a step closer to putting my detective skills to the test.  It’s damn expensive to get it shipped to Australia though!  Is anyone else doing it? If you are, please let me know!

BTW, just to take us back to the Avocado and Walnut Salad?  The bread shown with it is the Cheddar and Apple Foccacia from The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez.  And it was delicious!  This is a wonderful book too!

Have a wonderful week!  Next up, I’m taking a bit of a break from The A-Z and making some lovely old-fashioned biscuits, perfect for afternoon tea!  Why not pour yourself an Earl Grey and join me?

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Rumanian Herb Omelette

Oops…I P’ed too early last week.  Which, although unfortunate is a lot better than peeing too early!  So, tonight we’re taking a step back in the alphabet along with our step back in time and heading back to the letter O in The A-Z of Cooking.  The chapter I skipped is called “On Your Own” and is, of course, meals for one.  I eat a lot of meals on  my own so I was looking forward to trying some of the recipes starting with a Rumanian Herb Omelette.

Rumanian Herb OmeletteIt may surprise you to know that my knowledge of Rumanian (Romanian?) food is…well…sketchy…would be an overstatement!  Non-existent except for a herb omelette would be another.  But how authentic is the herb omelette?  I turned to the keeper of all knowledge aka Google.

This article on Romanian Food doesn’t mention an omelette. It does have a beef salad cake though!

No omelette on the Wiki either.

This wiki does.  But there doesn’t seem to be anything specifically Romanian about it.  In fact, it seems like a fairly bog standard omelette recipe. 

So, now feeling somewhat older but none the wiser, here is the recipe from The A-Z of Cooking.

Rumanian Herb Omelette Recipe2

 

The addition of sour cream seems suitably Eastern European and added a nice flavour to the eggs and herbs.  The flour?  Hmm…I’m not entirely sure about it.  The texture of the omelette became slightly more pancakey than a normal omelette which was not unpleasant, but not altogether necessary.  Maybe, in this age of cro-nuts and cruffins I should be embracing the concept of a new hybrid food a little more enthusiastically but I’m not sure the world needs an omecake or a panlette!

Rumanian Herb Omelette2Having said that, this was a tasty, quick and easy meal for one and perfect with a side salad.  Mine was a very simple chopped avocado, shaved fennel and balsamic vinegar. 

I also used tarragon, parsley and chives as my herbs because (smirk smirk) I have them all growing in my garden.  You can pretty much use what you have or what you like but this was a deee-licious mix!

Okay, back on track now and next time we’re looking at Q.  Will it be 100 things to do with a quince?  Quirky food?  Quiet food?  Find out next time!

Have a great week!

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K is for Lasagne?

Hanging around?  Nothing to do but frown?  Rainy days and Mondays getting you down?

What you need to cheer you up body and soul my friends is some comfort food.  And the best comfort food in existence is home-made lasagne. It MUST be home-made!  The horrible facsimile that is food court  / take away lasagne ( you know the one – ten layers of pasta with only a layer of a thin tomato sauce separating them, with maybe a tablespoon of meat in the entire dish, no bechamel to speak of, a glut of cheap and nasty Parmesan on top and a pool of oil at the bottom – will only further deepen your despondency and ennui with the world). 

Lasagne al forno4jpg

No, what you need to soothe your soul is a  rich meat ragu, lots of cheese, oodles of bechamel and for a really retro kick, curly lasagne noodles.  Hallelujah and praise the angels.  THAT lasagne is heaven in a baking dish.  And if it doesn’t put a glint in your eye and a spring in your step, then you’re dead already!

Lasagne al forno2I have a Garfield like love of lasagne but an equally strong aversion to making it. Here’s why

  • Usually, by the time I have made the ragu, I’m either tired or hungry (or both) so I turn it into a Bolognese.
  • Lasagne is  a mofo of a thing to make – half a day at least, and that’s if you multitask!
  • The fussiest eater in the world does not eat anything with white sauce so no bechamel for him
  • You cannot make lasagne for one.  Or two.  It’s a four person dish at an absolute minimum.
  • Even my love of lasagne does not equal eating it everyday for a week. 

Lasagne al forno3So I don’t feel I am wrong in saying that the last time I made lasagne was probably in the early noughties.  So I  was excited to see that the very first recipe in the K section of The A-Z of Cooking (1977) was for lasagne. The time had certainly come for me to make it again and even more, I was delighted to discover why it was listed under K and not L of Lasagne or P for Pasta.  Are you ready?

  • K is for Kitchen Aids
  • A freezer is a kitchen aid
  • Lasagne freezes like a dream!  Who knew?

Lasagne al fornoSo, without further ado, here’s the recipe.  I made some minor changes, instead of water in the ragu I added equal parts of beef stock and red wine. And also cooked the lasagne, then cut it into individual servings, wrapped them up and froze them.  They can then be heated in an oven or microwave for lunch or a no fuss supper.

Lasagne RecipeNow you have the recipe, why no make and freeze some lasagne –  because you know that a rainy day or Monday will come around all too soon!

Hope you are having a great week!

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Devilled Burgers. Taste Heavenly!

Like rock and roll and dancing in that town in Footloose, burgers must be the work of the devil.  There is no other explanation for something so simple tasting so good!  And that’s just normal burgers.  Once you have tried Margaret Fulton’s Devilled Burgers you will be ready to sell your soul for the recipe!

Devilled HamburgersNot that you have to of course.  The recipe is at the end of the post.  No soul selling involved!

So what makes the Devilled Burger so special? 

Oh and warning ahead…I am going to drop the dreaded M word.  You know, the one that rhymes with foist.  Haters beware!

One thing  I have noticed about a couple of old hamburger recipes is that they use bread soaked in evaporated milk.  This may both look and sound pretty gross but I think this combo really helps to keep the burgers moist.  There.  I’ve said it. 

Devilled Hamburgers3This mixture turns into something that resembles either wallpaper paste or the gruel from Oliver but I think it does the job.  I had these two nights running and I was expecting that reheating them on the second night would make them dry but no, they were as juicy as ever!  Possibly even better than the first night.

Other ingredients are finely chopped mushrooms (sorry Jenny), mustard, tomato ketchup, green Habanero sauce, horseradish and Worcestershire Sauce!  No wonder these are tasty little demons!

Devilled Hamburgers4These are so good.  Who could believe  ground beef could be so tasty? These have rocked straight in at number two on my best burgers ever (right behind my spicy feta burgers)!  Hmmm..,.now what would happen if you added some feta and cumin to this recipe?  The burger to end all burgers? Burgergeddon?  I now so want to try it out!

Top these burgers with your favourite toppings, mine are in the recipe below and enjoy!!!!

If serving at your own devil theme party, why not lay out your salad ingredients and condiments and any other trimmings you like and let your guests create their own version of the Devilled Burger?

Devilled Burgers
Yields 12
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Ingredients
  1. 4 slices bread
  2. 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  3. 1 kilo minced (ground) beef
  4. 2 tsp salt
  5. pepper to taste
  6. 1 chopped onion
  7. 2 eggs
  8. 250g chopped mushrooms (optional)
  9. 1.5 tsp Dijon Mustard
  10. 1/4 cup tomato ketchup or mild chilli sauce (I used a combination of ketchup and green habanero sauce)
  11. 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  12. 2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  13. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  14. 2 tsp green Habenero sauce
  15. Lettuce leaves
  16. Tomato Slices
  17. Vintage Cheddar, thinly sliced
  18. Red Onions, thinly sliced
  19. Pickles
Instructions
  1. Remove the crusts from the read, cut into squares and soak in evaporated milk for 10 minutes, then beat with a fork.
  2. Mix meat, bread, salt, pepper, onion, mushrooms, mustard, tomato ketchup and/or chilli sauce, horseradish and Worchestershire Sauce in large bowl. Mix in the eggs with a fork.
  3. Shape into 10 even sized patties.
  4. Heat some oil in a frying pan and gently fry the red onions .
  5. Preheat the grill and grill the hamburgers on one side for 7-8 minutes on one side and ^ minutes on the other. Add a slice of cheese using and grill for a further minute or so until the cheese has melted.
  6. Whilst the hamburger is cooking, toast your buns.
  7. Mix the mayonnaise and the green habanero sauce together and spread over the buns.
  8. Top with a lettuce leaf and a slice of tomato.
  9. Place the burger on top of the tomato and top with the fried onions and the burger bun.
  10. Pickles can be served on the side or in the burger or not at all!
Adapted from The Margaret Fulton Cookbook
Adapted from The Margaret Fulton Cookbook
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Devilled Hamburgers2

Oh and look!  Is that a bottle of Lychee Beer in the background?  Yes indeed.  Just doing a little taste testing for the margarita to come.  Or should that be a lagerita?

Have a fab week!  Next time, we’ll be wrapping up our devil themed party with an appropriately titled cake from the Domestic Goddess herself!

The Devil Cocktail

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American Salad

I feel like I have been neglecting the The A-Z of Cooking recently and like a typical errant parent, I’m back and about to smother my booky child with a level of attention bordering on overkill.  Otherwise known as posting a few quick items to get us back up to speed. 

We’re starting off with a look at F.  Which is not neither fish nor fowl or frying or fricasseeing but Frozen Food Shortcuts.  Of course.  Because that’s the first thing that we need to know about when it comes to the letter F in cooking.  All those things I mentioned are just piffle.

American Salad2

And, we’re starting with an item immediately springs to mind when we think of frozen food –  salad.  Yep.  About as obvious as the frozen food short cuts really.   You have already seen a glimpse of the frozen food, aka American salad in the post on the Devilled Chicken Skewers.  And you know what?  It was not nearly as bad as the idea suggests.

American Salad3

The recipe uses frozen corn and green beans.  I used fresh green beans because I had them in the house, but the corn was frozen. I am also not overly fond of red pepper so I subbed in some radishes. 

I tend to think of potato salad as being the “typical” American salad.  Followed by Caesar and Waldorf.  I have no idea why this is called American Salad.  Maybe the corn?

American Salad

Overall, this salad was colourful, had lots of crunch and a good mix of tastes and textures.  Big tick from me on the American salad!  Way to go America!  And the A-Z of Cooking for turning something that sounded as if it should be revolting into something I will probably make lots more of.  This would be a great salad to take to bbq’s in summer as there is not much to go soggy. No wilting lettuce here.  The salad went very nicely with the chicken but, would be awesome with a steak.  And for those of you of a non-meat persuasion, this would be super as a filling for a baked potato, with maybe a little cheese sprinkled over the top if you are not vegan.

American Salad

American Salad

Ingredients

  • 100g / 8oz frozen green beans
  • 100g / 8oz frozen corn kernels
  • 1 red pepper pith and seeds removed, finely diced
  • 8 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • handful of black olives, stoned
  • For the Dressing!
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  • Cook the beans and corn according to the directions on the packets.
  • Cool.
  • Once cook mix with all the other ingredients except the olive oil and vinegar.
  • For the dressing!
  • Mix together all the ingredients, season to taste.
  • When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and mix to combine.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/12/05/american-salad-and-fish-and-bacon-whirls/

I would love to know from my American readers if this salad is something you are familiar with?  

Have a lovely weekend!

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