Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Meat and Dill Slices

Tempting Low-Calorie Recipes (1956)
Despite all meteorological evidence to the contrary, summer is coming, and if you're anything like me, that means a panicked vow to the heavens to eat healthier, which will last only until the next glob of food intersects your line of sight.
So, from 1956, we have the delightful, if contradictory, Tempting Low-Calorie Recipes published by the Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago. Delightful, because it's chock full of line drawings by C. C. Cooper (not, as far as I can tell, the American Impressionist painter C. C. Cooper, but one never knows)

Contradictory, because the aforementioned line drawings are just as likely to show mother shoving fattening foods into her children's grubby hands, as they are to show the happy family enjoying exercise in the good, clean American parkland.

The Culinary Arts Institute gets right down to business, no fancy-schmancy enticing names for dishes here: the "appetizers" section starts right off with such unimaginatively-named creations as "meat-stuffed celery sticks" and "chilled melon".

Meat and Dill Slices, though, that's something we could really sink our teeth into - at at only 57 calories per serving, not feel a bit guilty about it!

Here's the recipe:

Prepare 1 Hard-Cooked Egg (page 38) [yes, it refers you to page 38, where there is an instruction on how to boil an egg. The Culinary Institute takes its educational mission VERY SERIOUSLY] Peel, chop and set aside.

Meanwhile, cut ends from 3 large dill pickles, 5 to 6 inches long [I could, here, insert a joke about how one should never send a man to measure anything that needs to be determined in inches, but I fear I risk killing the muse] Cut pickles crosswise into halves. Hollow out centers with apple corer and set pickles aside to drain.

Using medium blade of food chopper, grind and set aside enough cooked beef to yield 3/4 cup cooked ground beef. Mix lightly with beef the chopped egg and:

1 tablespoon minced parsley
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon monosodium glutamate [ I eliminated this step]
1/4 teaspoon salt
Few grains cayenne pepper

Moisten to heavy paste with 2 tablespoons ketchup. Pack meat mixture into pickles. Place in refrigerator to chill. To serve, cut crosswise into 1/2 -inch slices. Allow 3 slices for each serving.

It really sounds a lot more labor-intensive than it was. Once you get the pickles hollowed out you're home free. And really, it's only a matter of time before Skymall comes up with a gadget that does that for you.
Now, how does it taste? Will the elimination of MSG make it unpalatable? Let's cut right to the chase and try it out on real company!
Our Rating: Zero 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.)

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