Tag: Retro Recipes

My, My, Belgian Onion Pie – Pieathalon 2

My, My, At Waterloo, Napoleon Did Surrender

It seemed quite appropriate that I made my Pieathalon pie on Eurovison weekend.  After all, my pie was a Belgian Onion Pie with French Pastry Dough. And in 1974 ABBA won Eurovision with their song Waterloo which draws its inspiration from the site in BELGIUM where the Brits defeated the FRENCH army lead by Napoleon.

The coincidence is almost spooky.

Belgian Onion Pie

But would this pie take me down like a diminutive French General?  Or, like a bearded drag queen was I going to “rise like a phoenix” to Euro glory?

 And I Have Met My Destiny (In Quite A Similar Way)

A few weeks ago, the lovely Yinzarella put out the call and 19 bloggers answered.  We were going to take part in a global event to rival Eurovision, Pieathalon 2.

 Pieathalon

  The History Book on The Shelf (Is Always Repeating Itself)

My recipe, which came from S.S. over at A Book of Cookrye is taken from The Cotton Country Collection from 1972:

Pieathalon BookWhich looks and sounds like it comes more from the Mississippi Delta than any field in Flanders I ever saw.  Which is fine, I just finished reading Miss Hazel and The Rosa Parkes League for bookclub.  I’m feel like I’m down with the M, I, crooked letter, crooked letter….

I also recently made a French Apple Flan, so my credentials for France are also solid.

  • I have driven through Belgium on a bus. 
  • I have watched “In Bruges“.  Twice.  
  • They have waffles.  And chocolate. And smurfs.

And that’s pretty much the sum total of my knowledge about Belgium.  If there’s going to be a weak link here, it’s bound to be Belgium…is Pieathalon going to be my Waterloo?

My, My, I Tried To Hold You Back (But You Were Stronger)

 French Pie DoughI feel like the The French Pie dough recipe is very French.  And by that I mean both annoyingly pedantic in some details (Triple sifting flour?  Really?) and then just gives a big Gallic shrug and leaves others mostly up to your imagination.  The implication being if you are that much of a dummy to not know what spices and liquid to use in your pie dough, you probably shouldn’t be making pie dough.

My imagination told me to use a pack of French Onion Soup Mix for both –  a spoonful of the dry mix as my dough spice, then make up the rest of the soup and chill it down for my liquid.

 My imagination is a psychopath. 

The soup mix made the pastry quite salty.  If I had added more salt by adding the soup, I’m pretty sure it would have become inedible.  So, after a moment of panic and some highly creative swearing I used some pear cider as my liquid.  Purely because I happened to be drinking it at the time of making.

2015-05-17 00.17.00

And you know what?  It worked!!!  Really well.  The sweetness took out some of the salt and I think the bubbles helped to make the pastry really light and crisp.

I loved this pastry.  It had a real French Onion Soup flavour.  I am going to make it again but into “cheese” straws to have with dip. And I will probably use Pear Cider as my go to chilled liquid again too!

Now to the first way I “tweaked” this recipe…you may know that  have a weakness for small round food.  I’m also very much of the mind that more is more. So, why make one pie when you can make a lot of pies?

French Pie Dough 3
French Pie Dough 3

And Now It Seems My Only Chance Is Giving Up The Fight

I was actually pretty confident with the filling.  Because pastry is the hard part of any pie right? And honestly, I nailed that French pie dough like a….like a….French hammer…Yeah…just like that.  (Note to self, find some better metaphors).

So bring on the filling….

Belgian Onion Pie Filling Recipe 

First up -looking at this very cute picture made me think the pie was baked in onions.  I’m not actually sure HOW you would bake a pie in an onion but I do know I want to find out.  Another entry into the bucket list of weird food I want to make. I think it also may have sub-conciously influenced my idea to make party-sized pies instead of one big one. 

Then? Chopping three large onions?  There were tears before bedtime.  Then I weighed the butter.  Half a pound of butter seemed like an awful lot. I checked my measurements from ounces to grams and weighed it again.  No, my measurements were right and that was still a, pardon me for using a very technical baking term, a shit ton of butter. 

Belgian Onion Pie - ButterSuddenly my mountain of onions seemed like barely a hill next to that Everest of butter.    In the end, I couldn’t do it.  That skyscraper of butter was too overwhelming.  I cut off about a third of it and stuck that back in the fridge.  I felt really bad about this because I had wanted to follow the recipe exactly.  But I was convinced this was just wrong. 

And I could just add some extra butter if I needed, right?

Then I started to saute my onions. I was a bit worried that the onions would suck all the butter up and it would be too dry.  It seemed ok when the onions were sautéing, however once I added the flour the butter problem became apparent….

Belgian Onion Pie 4

Far from being too little butter there was still too much.  WAY too much…it was pooling everywhere…

Belgian Onion Pie5I made the decision to tip some more butter out….turned out to be about another two tablespoons.

Belgian Onion Pie 6I was kind of worried about doing this but as soon as I added the milk and cream, it all came together perfectly and I knew I had made the right decision.  Look how lovely and smooth the filling looks. 

I only had filling for ten little Belgian onion pies so I ate the additional pie shells.  That pastry was awesome!!!!

Belgian Onion Pie 7
Belgian Onion Pie 7

 And half an hour later they came out like this. Puffed up, golden brown, the Belgian Onion Pie babies looked like little golden buttercups!!! 

Belgian Onion Pie 8
Belgian Onion Pie 8

 I was so happy with these.  And not only were the baby Belgian Onion Pies so pretty to look at, they were delicious too – the light crisp pastry, the creamy filling, they were gorgeous!!!!  And they tasted just like French Onion Soup! 

You could almost say they were souper!

Gahhh…….Thankfully,  the Belgian Onion pies tasted better than my puns!!!!!

Belgian Onion Pie 9

 I Feel Like I Win….

So despite a couple of hiccups, Pieathalon 2 was a total success. 

Huge thanks to S.S. for the recipe and Yinzerella for the opportunity.  I LOVED it!  Here is my slightly twisted Muriels Wedding thanks to you both:

“I used to sit in my room for hours and listen to ABBA songs. But since I’ve met you and moved to Sydney joined in Pieathalon , I haven’t listened to one Abba song. That’s because my life is as good as an Abba song. It’s as good as Dancing Queen”

High praise indeed! 

And as a fitting finale to this Pieathalon, Ladies, Gentlemen…bring out your best moves and your favourite satin jumpsuit  and join me, Toni Collette and Rachel Griffiths in a little celebration of all things Pieathalon.  Feel free to sing along with my ever so slightly modified lyrics below as you bust a synchronised move…

 Pieathalon, Belgian pie with butter galore,

Pieathlon, promise to love you for ever more

Pieathalon, couldn’t escape if I wanted to,

Pieathalon, Knowing my fate is to be with you,

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Pieathalon,

Finally facing Pieathalon!”

The entire list of bloggers and pies are here.  Please check ’em all out but check out Sarah who made my Fiesta Almond Peach Pie recipe first!

Mandee from Vintage Recipe Cards  – Peach Pizza Pie
Susie from Bittersweet Susie  – Blueberry Cream Pie
Ashley at A Pinch of Vintage – Pecan Pie
Saucy Cherie at cookbookcherie.wordpress.com – Prune Whip Pie
Kelli from Kelli’s Kitchen – White Christmas Pie
Heather from Yesterday’s Menus – Pasta Cheese Pie
Jenny of Silver Screen Suppers – Magic Cream Pie
Kelly from The Velveteen Lounge Kitsch-en Web Series – Swiss Pie with Hot Dogs
Dr. Bobb of Dr. Bobb’s Kitschen – Mincey Peach Pie
Sarah from Directionally Challenged Cooking – Fiesta Almond Peach Pie
Clara at Heritage Recipe Box – Cottage Cheese Apple Pie
Poppy of “Grannie Pantries” http://granniepantries.blogspot.com – Brandy Alexander Pie
RetroRuth from Mid-Century Menu – Cheese Pie
S.S. of A Book of Cookrye – Gowanda Pie
Emily aka Yinzerella  from Dinner is Served 1972 – Melton Pork Pie
Erica Retrochef from Retro Recipe Attempts – Steak and Mushroom Pie
Catherine at  Battenburgbelle –  French Onion Pie

 Have a great week, and go eat some pie!

  Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

Surprise! Orange Chicken Salad

OMG. I was downloading some photos from my camera of the Ice Iced Vovo when I found all the photos  I had taken of the Orange and Chicken Surprise Salad. I had totally forgotten about it. How,  I do not know.   I’m sure I didn’t drink THAT much over the holiday period.  I’m equally sure you will agree that the Orange Chicken Surprise Salad should be unforgettable (in every way). 

Given that I have named January the month of crazy, it seemed fitting to post it here.  I totally had something else in mind to close out the month and we may yet get there.  But this had to get a mention.

It looks quite pretty.  Like a lovely orange jello dessert.  But wait!  A surprise lurks within.

Surprise Orange and Chicken Salad
Surprise Orange and Chicken Salad

 Not much of a surprise as the name pretty much gives it away….(There must be some sort of term for that….is it a paradox? A tautology?  Someone smarter than me please tell me….) But  hiding under that innocent orange jello exterior is a chicken salad.  A rather tasty chicken salad to boot.

Surprise Orange and Chicken Salad2
Surprise Orange and Chicken Salad2

 The idea of mixing sweet jello and savoury items kind of freaks me out.  It should not work.  It freaks me out even more when, like this, the result is actually pretty tasty.  Mind you, I loaded the jello with lemon juice so it was not as sweet as the original recipe dictated which may have helped make it a bit more palateable to my taste.  The original recipe is below:

Orange and Chicken Surprise SaladThe hardest thing about this recipe is getting the layer of jelly on the top the right thickness.  My cup sank way too deep the first few times, requiring some melting and resetting of the jelly.  It was still a little bit thin in this version and it kind of fell into a heap when I cut  into it.

Orange and Chicken Surprise Salad
Orange and Chicken Surprise Salad

 But all up, this was a success.  The jelly actually added a light tangy touch to the salad which was refreshing both on a hot day and after the heavy meals of Christmas. 

My version, which includes cranberries and tarragon is below.

I’ll be spending this week working on my post to celebrate Australia Day….I’m venturing into the best left alone arena of “things people eat when drunk”  and, believe me, whether I love it or hate it, it’s going to be a doozy!!!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2     

Orange & Chicken Surprise Salad
Surprise! Hidden beneath the layers of tangy orange and lemon jelly is a super tasty chicken salad.
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For the Jello
  1. 2 packets orange jello
  2. 2 1/2 cups orange juice
  3. 1 cup lemon juice
  4. 1/2 cup boiling water, just off boil
For The Salad
  1. 11/2 cups finely diced cooked chicken
  2. 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  3. 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  4. 1/2 tbsp chopped tarragon
  5. 1/2 tbsp chopped chives
  6. 1/4 cup (about a handful) of cranberries, chopped
  7. 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  8. 1 stick of celery, diced
  9. more lemon juice to bind, if needed
  10. salt and pepper to taste
To Garnish
  1. 1 orange peeled and segmented
  2. Mint leaves
  3. Cranberries
Instructions
  1. Combine the jello, fruit juices and boiling water, stirring until the jello melts. Place in fridge to set.
  2. When about half set place a small bowl into the jello and weigh it down (baking beans are ideal if you have them, otherwise use rice or beans or anything else you have to hand).
  3. Chill for several hours until very firm.
  4. Meanwhile combine all the salad ingredients and season to taste.
  5. When the jelly is set, take a sharp knife and dip it in hot water. Dry the knife then ease all around the small bowl. You may need to dip it in the water a couple of times.
  6. Once the bowl is removed pack the chicken salad into the cavity. Put foil or a plate over it and chill until firm.
  7. When ready to serve, place the mould in hot water to loosen the jelly, it only needs to be in there a short time. Then turn it out and garnish with the orange segments, cranberries and mint leaves.
Notes
  1. If your cup sinks too low in your jelly mould like mine did, place the bottom of the mould in hot water. The jelly will melt. Keep the mould in the water until you get the level of jelly you desire then place back in the fridge to reset.
Adapted from Rosemary Mayne - Wilson, Salad For All Seasons
Adapted from Rosemary Mayne - Wilson, Salad For All Seasons
Retro Food For Modern Times http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/

Hayman Island Chicken Salad

Don’tcha just love it when bits of your life just seem to fit together?   This Hayman Island Chicken Salad pretty much joined all the dots for me last week.

Hayman Island Chicken Salad
Hayman Island Chicken Salad

 If last week my life was a movie, this week is a jigsaw.

I have always been inordinately fond of a jigsaw. I think it stems from being an only child and it being one of the things I could do alone.  We have been doing some jigsaws at work recently and it has been awesome.  We set them up in the kitchen so, at lunch time or randomly through the day, people can go in a do a piece or two. 

Although, just between you and me, I think the lady who is bringing them in secretly  hates us.  Not for her the art prints which are my favourites or the Alpine scenes and waterfalls of my childhood,  No way,  Uh uh…She likes the impossipuzzle.  We had only just recovered from #2 which was this:

My PhotoFy_09_29_09_27

 

No, not a series of pieces thrown on the table.  The top one is the picture.The bottom one is a close up.  It was only five hundred pieces and it took us three weeks to complete!  It also  left us shattered remnants of human beings.  Then she brought in number 3. 

Cat Impossipuzzle
Cat Impossipuzzle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, no borders and five extra pieces.  Not to mention a plethora of cats that all look the same  She really does hate us. 

There was some weirdness as well.  We finished puzzle #2 on a Friday but left it out so people could admire our puzzle making skills and laud us accordingly.  No change on Monday. However, when I came in on Tuesday, someone had removed the four corner pieces.  They hadn’t taken them or thrown them away.  Just removed them and left them on the table.  Who or why?  No idea.  I work with some strange people.

But enough of the literal, here’s the metaphorical.

After eating my weight in bacon whilst being obsessed with Fruity Devils I felt the need for some slimming.

I also had some left over pineapple and oranges and Rosemary Mayne Wilson’s Salads For All Seasons.

S4AS Cover

 There is a section on diet salads in the book however it contains recipes like this

 Cottage Cheese Mould

 And this:

 Curried Lamb Mould

 I don’t know, maybe I’m just being picky but if I was making a recipe that I wanted people to eat, I’d think twice about having the word “mould” in the title.  Just saying. Maybe that was  Rosemary’s cunning plan.  You are so repulsed by the name of the food that your appetite is automatically reduced.  Then you realise it’s either cottage cheese and pineapple juice (note, you don’t even get the pineapple) or lamb and curry powder in gelatine and what’s left of it disappears all together.  Voila.  I suppose it’s one way to get skinny!

Handily, not all of Rosemary’s recipes are that disgusting.  I made my version of her Hayman Island Chicken Salad which used up my leftover oranges and pineapple.  It was pretty tasty and looked quite pretty with the green from the avocado, celery and spring onion, the orange from the oranges (duh) and the yellow pineapple.  Mango would also be great in here and would add to the tropical vibe. I have shown it here as a sandwich but I also took some into work for lunch and it was great just as a salad too.  Also, there was no avocado in the original.  I just had one that needed to be used….

Hayman Island Chicken Salad3
Hayman Island Chicken Salad3

 There is no explanation given the Salads For All Seasons as to why this recipe is named after Hayman Island which is a holiday resort on the Great Barrier Reef.  I can only assume it was served there back in the 1970’s.  It is possibly the thing in the white dish front and centre below.

Hayman  Island Buffet via Vintage Queensland
Hayman Island Buffet via Vintage Queensland

 
So I had made my Hayman Island Chicken Salad and then, in a coincidence weirder than someone removing the corner pieces from a jigsaw, I happened to glance at the cover of this month’s Gourmet Traveller which had been sitting on my coffee table unread for a couple of weeks. (It actually made an appearance last week, slightly obscured by my huge glass of wine…)

My PhotoFy_09_19_21_58

And totally obscured by my hot sauce was this!

My PhotoFy_09_29_22_26

Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  I think the universe is trying to tell me something. And I’m fairly sure that it is that I need to get to Hayman Island pronto.

You see, I read that article and there is no mention of a chicken salad. Nor does it appear on any of the resort menus.

Which is, as far as I am concerned a travesty.

hayman-island-resort-32832
hayman-island-resort-32832

 I feel it is my duty, no my mission, to bring this salad to the attention of the resort owners. I would be quite happy to spend a weekend working with the chefs to bring help back this piece of  Hayman Island history.   Although…we would probably need to match it with some wines and a cocktail or two.  Hmm…maybe I’ll need a week.

And we needn’t go all out with the retro vibe.  The outrigger canoe as a buffet table?  That can stay gone.

And I’m not greedy.  I don’t need the $10,600 a night penthouse.  I have simple tastes.  The $1990 per night beach villa with private pool will be just fine. 

Hayman Island Beach Villa

How glorious does that room look?  The only downside is that now I have that Coldplay song running through in my head.

As do you now too.  Don’t thank me.  You’re more than welcome.

All together now…Para, para, paradise…..Whoa-oh-oh oh-oooh oh-oh-oh.

So what do you think of my chances of getting the all expenses paid trip to Hayman to act as historical cuisine consultant to the chefs? 

Yep. Me too.  (Sigh). 

Oh well, at least I have the salad!

Have a great week!

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2
 

Hayman Island Chicken Salad

Hayman Island Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 tbsp spring onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 avocado, flesh cut into cubes
  • 2 oranges, segmented (the original recipe called for tinned mandarin segments)
  • 1 can pineapple pieces
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • dash of tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Combine the chicken, celery, spring onions, capers and lemon juice.
  • Chill for 1 hour.
  • Mix lemon zest, tabasco if using, and mayonnaise. Chill.
  • At serving time, add the pineapple, avocado and oranges to the chicken mix.
  • Gently add the mayonnaise and carefully mix through.
  • Season to taste
  • Top with almonds and serve.
http://www.retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2014/09/29/hayman-island-chicken-salad/

 

 

 

Bad Retro Holiday Food…What? Can There Be Such a Thing?

Great article on the interwebs today about Retro Holiday Foods that have, according to the authors, gladly been forgotten…although…I’m not so sure…

I thought this Shrimp Christmas Tree was brilliant…it reminded me a little of Yinzerella’s Shrimp Sputniks from a few days ago.  I also loved that massive goblet of sauce… I had a little bet with myself that it would be nothing more than ketchup and mayo and…almost!

Shrimp Christmas Tree

I”m doing this…Christmas 2014, your name is Shrimp Christmas Tree.  Recipe here.

Funnily enough, this also reminded me of the lovely Yinzerella:

Cocktail Weenie Tree

Whereas this just made me giggle for hours.  Because I’m really a 12-year-old boy…

I’d ask what were they were thinking but it’s kind of  obvious….

Christmas Candle Salad

Full article here.

So, do you agree with the authors that these should be forgotten?  Or, like me have you been inspired to add some retro glam to your next Christmas party meal?

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Retro Food In the News – Vintage Christmas Ideas

Read this in the paper today…

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/christmas/have-yourself-a-very-vintage-christmas-20131204-2yqzu.html

The Pita Bread Christmas Trees below are adorable.  And,  will be featuring in my Christmas menus.

Retro Christmas Appetizers

As will the Party Loaf.   I did find the recipe for Susan’s Party Loaf as mentioned in the article, however I preferred this one from Betty Crocker purely for the completely unnecessary use of food colouring…you know you’re taking a ride on the way-back machine when that happens.

Plus it’s got carrots made into flowers and i just bought a flower shaped cutter from Daiso that I’m itching to use.  Stay tuned…

Betty Crocker Party Loaf

And the Madras Cocktail ?  Take a look at this piece of awesomeness…

Madras Cocktail
Madras Cocktail

Don’t drink them all they say?  Who are they kidding?   The recipe which is here

put me in mind of the old Dorothy Parker quote:

“I like to have a martini,
Two at the very most.
After three I’m under the table,
after four I’m under the  host.”

This thing might not just knock your socks off, it could take your ankles with it.

I  can’t wait to try it!

So what retro treats are you all planning for Christmas?

Signature 1 Vintage Valentine Quick as Wink2

 

 

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