Today's MoFo Prompt: "Most retro recipe."
At first, I was a bit stymied by this MoFo prompt. I already made a jello mold a couple years ago, and I didn't really need to repeat that experience. Ha ha. So, I started looking through my cookbooks, and as soon as I saw my great-grandmother's copy of Joy of Cooking, I knew that it would hold the answer. I actually have a much more current edition of Joy of Cooking which I refer to somewhat often, and I'm not sure I've ever used this older copy to actually plan a meal.
This edition is from 1943, and the recipes and intros to the recipes are quite interesting. Some are funny, some are very straightforward, some are amusingly outdated. Many are surprisingly interesting. There's even a suggestion to cook your sandwich in the waffle iron to make it more special. Ha, we all thought that was such a new idea.
Here are a few interesting excerpts (my comments in italics):
"Pecan Sandwiches: Trim the crusts from thin slices of bread. Place between the slices: nasturtium leaves, Finely chopped pecans, moistened with mayonnaise" (that is the whole recipe)
A few recipe titles: Baked Noodle Ring, Hot Emergency Sandwiches, Ham and Pineapple French Toast Sandwiches
Pancakes and Sausages: "Cook: French pancakes. Cook: Sausages. Roll the sausages in the pancakes. Serve them very hot with: Apple Sauce." (Not a bad idea, right? )
Waffle Sandwiches: "These are good for the maidless hostess who has no toaster." (the recipe is essentially two pieces of buttered bread filled with cheese spread, and then cooked in the waffle iron. I think it sounds pretty good!
Naturally, there are also countless super-meaty dishes that hold absolutely no veganizable appeal!
Anyway, I was reading through the book coming up with what I thought were all sorts of viable dinner options. Every time I proposed something to Mr. VE&T, he would immediately and summarily reject it. Wild Rice Ring? No. Eggplants Filled With Leftover Food (love that catchy name)? No.
Finally I came across the "Vegetable Platter" section - "an attractive way of serving cooked vegetables is to place two or more varieties on a platter in a decorative manner." Many suggestions are offered, including "Tomatoes filled with Mashed Potatoes, flanked by Creamed Onions and Brussels Sprouts." We have a winner!
look at those fantastic tomatoes!
all the stuff before being stuffed in
I decided to sub out "Tomatoes Filled with Mashed Potatoes" for "Tomatoes Filled with Corn." This recipe was fun to veganize: I used shiitake bacon in place of bacon and cashew creme instead of heavy cream. Other than that, the filling had corn, bell pepper, bread crumbs, seasoning, and (obviously) corn. I doubled the corn, because that seemed like a good idea.
The Joy of Cooking has a whole charming section on making veggie "cases" for hot food -- in other words, how to stuff just about any vegetable. There are even recipes for stuffed carrots! The heirloom tomatoes used made great "cases" - they were strong-walled and meaty. I used my melon baller to scoop out the insides and they still hung together very well.
my vegetable platter
Here are the beautiful Tomatoes Filled with Corn, flanked by Creamed Onions and Brussels Sprouts. Let me tell you, the true revelation of this meal was those Creamed Onions. I AM IN LOVE. Holy moly! As directed, I sliced then briefly boiled the onions, but next I deviated from the book and transferred them to a skillet with a tiny bit of oil to caramelize them lightly with salt and black pepper. Then I added homemade cashew cream and a pinch of nutmeg. The result was somehow absolutely transcendent. I cannot wait to make them again... in copious quantities. What you see here started out as two huge onions, so it really reduces down a lot. The Brussels Sprouts were easy to prepare - a simple light spritz of oil and then roasted in the oven. Mmm.
I think we were both delighted and a bit surprised at what a fantastic dinner this was! It made me want to explore this beloved old copy of Joy of Cooking, and cook more meals from it. My aunt gave me this book several years ago, when it became clear that I was the biggest kitchen enthusiast in the crew. At the time it was a sentimental heirloom more than anything. But now it suddenly feels like another worthwhile cookbook in my collection!