Vintage Popcorn to Welcome the New Year

December 31, 2017

Everything old is new again. If you think flavored popcorn is a modern invention, take a look at this article from Gourmet, circa 1984.  That Cheddar Bacon version could not be more au courant – although you might want to substitute Sriracha for the Tabasco in the pepper version.

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New Year’s Buffet, Pig Head Included

December 30, 2017

This menu, from Gourmet’s January 1975 issue, is one of those stunning artifacts that tells you how much things have changed.

For one thing, it’s hard to imagine any mainstream magazine starting a recipe with “halve your butcher halve a pig’s head.”  For another, what contemporary cook would think stuffing Brussels sprouts was a good idea?  This menu also ends with one of the most absurd-looking deserts I’ve ever seen. Every time I look at it I laugh.

The ham crescents, on the other hand, seem like a good idea. And if you use frozen puff pastry, they’re a piece of cake.

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This Trifle is No Trifle

December 29, 2017

It’s cold. So cold.  What better way to while away a bit of time than leafing through old issues of Gourmet?

Came upon this trifle in the December, 1983 issue.  Trifles aren’t supposed to be complicated but this one is a serious project. Perfect, in fact, for a day like today.

To my surprise I also came upon a recipe request from one of my mother’s best friends. Lucy lived up the street from us, and I loved going to her house for dinner; she was a fantastic cook. I should have known she subscribed to Gourmet.

And finally, an irresistible ad. If only I’d had the money, back in 1983, to attend one of Marcella’s classes!

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Perfect Way to Roast a 7 Bone Prime Rib

December 25, 2017

No muss, no fuss. But few recipes give you the timing for a roast weighing 15 or 16 pounds.  And if you’ve invested in a roast this large, you don’t want to take any chances.

Remove the roast from the refrigerator two hours before serving, shower it with salt and allow it to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.

Ovens vary. So does meat. So start checking the temperature of the meat after about two and a quarter hours. At this point the middle of the roast should measure about 115.  Keep checking until the roast reaches 120 degrees. This will give you rare meat in the middle, medium at the ends. (I like really rare meat; if you don’t, allow the roast to reach 125.) Despite what you’ll read elsewhere, and despite the enormous size of this roast, it should not take more than 3 hours to get your meat to the perfect point.

Allow the roast to rest, out of the oven, half an hour before carving.

Easy horseradish sauce.

Mix half a bottle of prepared horseradish into a cup of sour cream. Add a splash of fresh lemon juice, taste, add more if you like, along with salt and pepper.

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