Sunday, October 27, 2013

Party Pork Crown

Party Pork Crown
contributed by Mrs. Allie C. Woodcock, New Orleans, La.
Favorite Recipes of America: Salads, page 169
My most ambitious project to date - not only because of the challenge of getting one particular ingredient past Dr. Husband's discriminating palate, but also because another key ingredient hasn't existed for fifty years.

I've been sitting on his recipe for a while, precisely because it calls for celery flavored Jell-O. As mentioned before, Jell-O did briefly flirt with the idea of savory flavors (celery, Italian salad, seasoned tomato, and mixd vegetable) but apparently, the idea didn't catch on so well. Or did it?  Because here, in Favorite Recipes of America, we find a recipe, apparently a FAVORITE,  calling for celery flavor!

The recipe, as it was printed in 1968:

1 3-oz. package celery flavored gelatin
1 c. hot water
1/2 c. cold water
1 tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 c. mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1/4 tsp. salt
1 12-oz. can pork luncheon meat, diced
1 89-oz. can peas, drained
Romaine leaves

Dissolve gelatin in hot water; stir in cold water and vinegar. Beat in mayonnaise, mustard and salt; pour into shallow pan. Freeze for 20 minutes. Spoon into medium bowl; beat until light. Fold in meat and peas; spoon into 4-cup ring mold. Chill until firm. Unmold onto serving plate; garnish with romaine leaves. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Also, let's address the elephant in the room: "pork luncheon meat" can mean nothing but Spam™, 'miright?

Spam™, as anyone reading this blog will certainly already know, is "ground pork shoulder and ground ham combined with salt, sugar, water, and sodium nitrate, stuffed into a can, sealed, cooked, dried, dated, and shipped...It needs no refrigeration. It will keep in its can until the end of time." (My facts and figures come from Jane and Michael Stern's Encyclopedia of Bad Taste, long out of print but well worth the ONE CENT that a used paperback copy on Amazon will cost you.) It was a staple for the Allies in wartime, and in fact Nikita Kruschev credited it with saving the Russian army from starvation.

As you'll see in the tasting video, I made up my own claim that Spam™was the most popular food in Korea; further research reveals that I may not have been so far off the mark. If anyone has any further clarification on that matter, be sure and let me know!

The bigger issue was how to replicate the celery Jell-O™... so here goes. I boiled some celery for a few minutes, then strained that water and used it for the 1 cup hot water in the recipe. Then in place of the called-for salt, I used celery salt. If you're tempted to duplicate the recipe at home, I will warn you that the celery salt will not dissolve AT ALL. It ends up as a kind of grit that settles in the bottom of the mold (what will be the top when you unmold it.)

Everything else came together easily, leaving me only with the dread of feeding Dr. Husband Spam™, which he's promised would be a five-scream offense. But, to my surprise...

Our Rating: Two Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lime Turkey Mold

Lime Turkey Mold
Better Homes and Gardens "Salad Book" ca. 1969,  p. 111
As pretty as this looks, always remember that when gelatin is involved, looks can be deceiving.

I may as well own to the fact that, immediately after the tasting was filmed, Dr. Husband went straight to our tastefully-appointed guest bath and upchucked. IN MY DEFENSE, he had just finished a 12-mile run which he neglected to properly hydrate for. But it is perhaps telling that I'm not prepared to blame the upchucking entirely on that.

Better Homes and Gardens Salad Book helpfully recommends how Lime Turkey Mold might fit into a mealtime menu:

Menu: Apple Cider, Lime Turkey Mold, Popovers with Whipped Butter, Hot Fudge Sundaes with Nut Topping, and Beverage.

I neglected all of the above, with the exception of "beverage", which you'll see in the video.

I also used pre-packaged roasted turkey chunks, which might be part of the problem in this dish. I suggest leftover turkey that you've cooked yourself if you're tempted to make this at home - or just ditch the turkey altogether, and end up with a delightful dessert.

Here's the recipe:
2 3-ounce packages lime-flavored gelatin
1 7-ounce bottle (about 1 cup) ginger ale, chilled
2 cups diced cooked turkey
1 cup dairy sour cream
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 16-ounce can pears, drained and diced

Dissolve gelatin and 1/4 teaspoon salt in 2 cups boiling water; cool. To half the gelatin mixture, slowly add ginger ale and 1/2 cup cold water. Chill till partially set. Fold in turkey. Pour gelatin mixture into 6 1/2 cup mold; chill till almost firm. Meanwhile, beat sour cream and ginger into remaining gelatin till smooth. Chill till partially set. Fold in pears. Pour over almost firm layer. Chill till firm. Serves 4.

I didn't have high hopes for this, and my suspicions bore fruit:

Our Rating: Four and a half Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Frankfurter Salad Loaf

Frankfurter Salad Loaf
Better Homes and Gardens "Salad Book" ca. 1969,  p. 123
The "in" snack for teen get-togethers! proclaims Better Homes and Gardens Salad Book, above the recipe for this concoction.  And indeed, if my experience is any gauge, this is only an "in" snack in the sense that teens will eat anything you set before them, and eat all of it, and not complain.

But perhaps Frankfurter Salad Loaf has something of a timeless appeal, judging by Dr. Husband's warm reception.

I must admit that I didn't have very high hopes when reading the ingredients on paper, but once I started assembling the dish and realized I was dealing with the two greatest foods in the history of mankind - hot dogs and French onion dip - my hopes raised considerably.

Here you go, the recipe in all its glory:
1 unsliced loaf French bread, 18 to 20 inches long
4 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 cup dairy sour cream
2 tablespoons dry onion soup mix
2 tablespoons mustard-style hot dog relish
4 or 5 frankfurters, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped celery 

Cut lengthwise slice from top of bread; set top aside. Scoop out loaf to within 3/4 inch of bottom and sides. Spread inside of loaf and cut side of top with butter. Wrap loaf in foil, leaving cavity uncovered. Combine sour cream, onion soup mix, and relish; stir in frankfurter slices and celery. Spoon frankfurter mixture into hollow of loaf. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. During last 5 minutes of baking, place reserved top of loaf in oven to toast. To serve, place top on loaf; cut loaf into 1 1/2-inch slices. Serves 12.

I will admit to not using the called-for half-pound of butter; instead I brushed the bread cavity with olive oil. (I'm certain it made a huge difference in my health after topping it with the hot dog-sour cream glop.)  I sliced the hot dogs into rounds, and as you'll see in the video, I maybe should have sliced lengthwise for ease of eating.  Cooking is so hard when there aren't accompanying pictures!

After a brief commercial message, you'll see that Dr. Husband was pleasantly surprised with the results:

Our Rating: One Screaming Husband!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Deviled Egg Mold

Deviled Egg Mold
Knox On-Camera Recipes, pg. 25
Like all mid-century housewives, I have a degree in English Literature that I never use.  Which leads to my first question - why isn't "deviled edges" spelled with two L's?

But I digress. Today's dish comes from 1960's Knox On-Camera Recipes, billed as "a completely new guide to Gel-Cookery".  Knox™, as you know, is unflavored, leading to all manner of exciting culinary adventures!

From the description of the recipe: "Eggs take on airs and the result teams up wonderfully well with sliced cold meats or poultry."

That's a little vague for me. I would have put, "Men love deviled eggs, and will eat them no matter what medium they're suspended in."

My only beef with this recipe is that it lacks mustard, which doesn't exactly scream deviled egg to me. More egg salad-y.  But feel free to experiment, ladies, the very nature of Knox™ gelatin means that your imaginations can run wild!

So, here's the recipe:
1 envelope Knox™Unflavored Gelatin
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons grated onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/4 cup chopped pimiento
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped

In a saucepan, sprinkle gelatin on water to soften. Place over low heat and stir until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and add salt, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper. Cool.

Stir in mayonnaise. Fold in remaining ingredients. Turn into a 3 cup mold or individual molds and chill until firm. Unmold and garnish with salad greens and serve with salad dressing.

You can see from the photos that I didn't bother with garnish or salad dressing. No need, ladies, because your man will dig into this with gusto. Witness the following:

Don't forget, if you have a beloved/disgusting recipe you'd like to see Dr. Husband try, send it in!

Our Rating: One Screaming Husbands!
(all dishes are rated from one to five Screaming Husbands. One Screaming Husband equals a happy home where all problems are solved during cocktail hour. Five Screaming Husbands signals the beginning of divorce proceedings.)