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Salad Daze

Photo by Chalmers Butterfield

The Hollywood Brown Derby Cobb Salad….

The same, real Brown Derby restaurant that Lucy and Ethel went to when they went to Hollywood. The Episode  where Lucy dumps food all over a movie star – William Holden.

Holden-portrait

William Holden orders a Cobb Salad…a Hollywood Salad! A GLAMOUR Salad!!!!

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Cobb Salad – named after a Brown Derby owner, Bob Cobb.

Of course, since Lucy is involved……and there was a pie…….

bill-holden-cobb-salad2

Before Lucy – After Lucy

It was a few years later that I found out what was in a Cobb Salad….

brown-derby-cobb-salad

page from The Brown Derby Cookbook, probably the 1949 edition – here are several versions of the Brown Derby and it’s cookbooks

 

One way to remember the ingredients:

EAT COBB

Eggs + Avocado + Tomato   Chicken + Onion + Bacon + Blue Cheese

I recently had a Cobb Salad that was a variation on the theme. It was made with radicchio  instead of greens, which was a little too warming for a summer salad, but for an autumnal one…..Mmm Mmmm Good!

And it was chopped up nicely. Somewhere in the 21st century we’ve forgotten that salads are eaten with forks in public places and that they’re supposed to be ready to eat and not need more knife work.

This version also had roasted butternut squash and turkey instead of chicken and dried cranberries, a Plymouthy version.  Good, and got me thinking about a few more tweaks. I’d do chopped radicchio as the base, great color, nice change from  KALE (hasn’t the clock ticked past that by now????)

RadicchioNL

Anyhow – turkey instead of chicken – but a roasted turkey. A roasty flavor would help here. Maybe toss a turkey breast in while roasting the butternut squash.

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Now that the nights are cool – last night was downright COLD – a little “toss a sheet pan of something in the oven”  action is NOT out of the question., and if it helps to stave off another night of not turning the heat on…more power to that!

I might use fresh cranberries, once they once they come in, instead of dried. Blue cheese. Hard boiled eggs – easy. Bacon? No hardship there. I also have managed not to start a jar of bacon grease, so get a jar ready….I’m going to go with black olives as the O…..I just don’t like raw onion, and since it doesn’t like me right back, we’re even on that score.

What have a got so far?

Egg + A…….+ Turkey  Cranberry + Olive + Bacon + Blue Cheese

Hmmmm – What the A?

A stands for Apple!

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Rene Magritte 1964

If I make an Apple/Maple dressing, a little chopped apple will temper it, give the sweet to go with the rich/spicy/…apple cider vinegar, chopped apple, maple syrup and a touch of oil….

The temptation to ‘pumpkin spice’ this is nearly overwhelming, but I’ll try to resist.

September Salad – The Thanksgiving Cobb  –  check.

 

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Filed under Autumn, Eating, Lunch, New England, Thanksgiving

It’s snowing and it’s only the second of November…..snowMaybe it’s not THAT much snow, but it might as well be…I have my rain boots at the ready, my rain gear by the back door.

What is this SNOW???????? I’m not ready for snow before Thanksgiving.

Time to head back to the kitchen. Since I really don’t want to go to the store, what’s in the pantry for tonight?

Potatoes. Onions…if there are eggs in the fridge, I know what I’m-ma gonna do….

chicken w a cape on

The Little Chickie was so cold she had a cape on…but still, there are eggs!

Potato and Onion Frittata

¼ c olive oil

2 medium potatoes

4 medium onions

6 large eggs

¼ c grated Parmesan cheese

¼ tsp salt

Ground black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 9” pie plate.
  2. Heat the oil in a large cast iron or nonstick frying pan. Peel and cut the potatoes into ½ cubes
  3. When the oil is hot but not smoking, fry the potatoes until golden and tender.
  4. Peel and dice the onions
  5. Remove the potatoes from the pan with a slotted spoon. Cook the onions about 15 minutes, stirring and tossing frequently until very tender. These aren’t caramelized onions, just very well done – more beige then dark brown, but meltingly soft.
  6. Beat the eggs with the salt and pepper and cheese.
  7. Add the potato and onions to the eggs.
  8. NOTE: Keep the onions and eggs in one bowl, the eggs and seasonings in another, cover and fridge for several hours before cooking. Bring out and mix together while the oven is preheating.
  9. Put mixture into pie plate and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Jeanne Lehman. Quick Vegetarian Pleasures:152.

simple vegg pleasur peaseWhich is all well and good, and I’ve made  plenty of fritattas this way, BUT as a single single (versus my single Mom days) I now make half as much and just keep it all on the stove, maybe listening to some NPR at the same time, or staring at the white board at the side of the fridge, writing down things as they flit through my head…

So

1 potato, peel it and cut it into a dice, or really thin slices. Fry in olive oil – the olive oil is part of the flavor. When it’s tender and golden, take those taters out and add in 2 onions, any kind, any color, sliced very, very thin or diced, cook them slowly in the oil, stirring them every now and again, keep it all moving along. By now you’ve already checked around the fridge – any leftover bits that might be nice – but only bitty bits in the fritatta for one.  A slice of ham, one piece of bacon, a stalk of broccoli. Or not.

Beat 3 eggs, add some salt and pepper, maybe a pinch of smoked paprika or a pinch tarragon….by now you know what you’re hungry for. Add the potato to the eggs, add the onions to the potato, and if you want some cheese in it, now the time. If the bottom of the pan is still slick you’re good, or add another drop or two of oil to it. Put the egg mixture in the pan, keep it at medium and shake it about a bit to get the eggy parts to the bottom to cook, and to keep it from sticking.  Put a lid on it, and don’t go too far away….10 or so should do it. Slide it out to your plate, and sit at a table, preferably one with a view (if you don’t have a view, get flowers) and enjoy.

Clara Peeters - flowers, good; mouse, optional

Clara Peeters – flowers, good; mouse, optional

It’s still snowing…….

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Filed under 1990's, Autumn, Recipe

Slow Beef

There is some debate about just how Irish corned beef and cabbage truly is, whether  or not bacon would properly be more traditional. My tradition is, if it’s St Patrick’s, your dinner debate is the choice between Lamb Stew or Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Another name for Corned Beef and Cabbage is Boiled Dinner, which makes it more New England, which is also fine by me.

OLD SOD BOILED DINNER, NEW ENGLAND STYLE

8 good sized fist sized spuds, peeled and quartered (are you saving the peel enough for broth? Use an extra)

4 turnips, peeled and cut to the same size as the potato pieces

These white turnips, not the big yellow rutabaga sort

These white turnips, not the big yellow rutabaga sort

2 large onions, peeled and quartered

1 small (2-3 pound) corned beef brisket

5 cups water (if you use a 12 ounce bottle of beer for 1 ½ cups of the water, it doesn’t make it worse, if you take my meaning. If you’d rather save the beer for your glass with the meal that works, too.)

1 small head of cabbage, cut into 6 or 8 wedges

  1. Combine the potatoes, turnip and onions in the bottom of a 4 quart or larger slow cooker.
  2. Add the brisket, fat side up.
  3. Pour water over everything.
  4. Cover.
  5. Cook on LOW 10-11 hours or until the meat is tender.
  6.  Remove cooked meat and vegetables, keep warm.
  7. Turn cooker to HIGH.
  8. Add cabbage wedges. Cover and cook on HIGH 20-30 minutes are until cabbage is done.
  9. Lift the cabbage out with a slotted spoon to join the rest of the dinner.
  10. Good with mustard and horseradish.
  11. Leftovers make great hash.

Adapted from Mable and Gar Hoffman. Mable Hoffman’s All-New Crockery Favorites. Bantam Books: 1993. p. 95.

mable Hoffman's

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Filed under Books, Holiday, Irish, Recipe

Meatless Monday

Since earlier this month, I encourage eating a little less meat, it seems only right to offer the occasional meatless option.

This is a recipe from my cousin Flora, who got it from her mother, my mother’s big sister.   One of the joys/confusions of a big family is that generations start to meld. My mother is the youngest of 10, and Flora was the youngest daughter of the the oldest daughter…so Flora and my mother were close enough in age to be raised more like sisters. It was confusing when I was little to have a cousin who was also a grown-up

Flora’s birthday was the 23rd of January. Birthdays in our family, especially since so many of us are Snow Babies, and Winters in New England  can throw a monkey wrench in the best laid travel plans, are often observed officially rather then on just the day itself. And they can stack up, so one cake could be for more then one birthday – unless there were more then one cake….. The end result is that I’m always a little murky on the actual dates of any family actual b-day.

Flora was the first cousin born over here and not in Italy, and when she was little she got to spend lots of time with Nonna, whom she had nothing but nice things to say about. Flora also took it upon herself to take the cooking of the aunties and write it down. None of them had cookbooks – they just cooked. When gathered together the talk was always about food, and where you got it, and what you did with it, and what else you might do with it, and how different people like things in different ways.

Flora passed away 2 years ago, and when I have a question on  how to make something, I remember anew that she is no longer with us. It still takes me a little by surprise. But she did leave a whole lot of recipes written down. This post is a birthday remembrance for her.

 This is a recipe we found fairly recently when going through my mother’s files looking for the original Walnut Cake recipe (we still only have copies and no the original). The Note to Irma (my mother) is on one side – the recipe is on the other.

Three types of lentils - we generally used the brown and sometimes the green and never the red.

Three types of lentils – we generally used the brown and sometimes the green and never the red.

Lentils and Macaroni

1 cup lentils

1 tomato

1 celery stalk

1 small onion, diced

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons oil

Macaroni, cooked

  1. Soak 1 cup lentils ½ hour. Empty into a colander and rinse. Return lentils to the pan.

  2. Add: 1 cut up tomato, 1 cut up celery stalk, 1 small onion, diced, 1 tbs salt, 2 tbs oil and water – at least 2 inches higher.

  3. Bring to a boil.

  4. Simmer 1 hour.

  5. Add cooked macaroni.(She doesn’t mention how much, but seldom did we cook less then a pound…and ditalini or tubertini or some little pasta that wold hold on to lentils would be best)

  6. Ditalini

    Ditalini

  7. Let flavors blend 5 minutes.

From note to Irma from Flora. Flora mentions 41 years of marriage, so maybe this was written in 2001?

The note:

Irma,

This is my mother’s recipe as given to me 41 years ago. Over the years I have changed things slightly. I put in less onion, less salt, little, if any, oil.  I top the dish with grating cheese. It’s a good meatless dish for Friday. Every time I make this dish, I have to endure Bob (who loves lentils) telling me “Lentils – the oldest dish in the world. Did you know Christ ate lentils?” After 41 years of this repartee, I am ready to crown him with the lentils.

Flora

200px-Small_Red_Rose

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Filed under Birthday, Eating, Influencers, Recipe