Betty seems to love Rumaki. Last Night’s episode (705 The Runaways) marks the second time on Mad Men that she serves it to guests, this time at a progressive dinner party, where the guests have a different course at each house. I love to watch Betty act as hostess, it’s like she finally feels like she’s doing something important, she’s almost giddy. I can sort of relate to that actually.
My all time favorite episode of Mad Men is from Season two, called A Night To Remember. Betty hosts a dinner party for Don’s clients and The Sterlings. She treats the guests to a “Trip Around the World” with the following menu:
- Gazpacho from Spain
- Rumaki From Japan
- Irish Leg of Lamb with Mint Jelly
- German Noodles like her grandmother made
- Bordeaux from France and Beer from Holland
The Betty Crocker Hostess Cookbook from the era has a recipe for Rumaki and introduces it as a Japanese dish. Rumaki actually originated in California at Trader Vic’s as part of America’s love for all things Polynesian. My version has a few modern twists.
- 1 lb. chicken livers, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 t. canola oil
- 1/8 C. soy sauce
- 1/2 t. curry powder
- 1 t. sugar
- 1 t. grated fresh ginger
- 1 lb. uncured bacon
- 1 can, sliced water chestnuts, drained
Combine the oil, soy sauce, curry powder, sugar, and ginger in a shallow dish. Toss the livers in the mixture and marinate for at least two hours. Put your bamboo skewers in a glass of water to soak. This should keep them from burning, although some of mine got a little charred. Cut the bacon into 2 inch squares. Skewer one piece of bacon, one piece of liver, and one slice of water chestnut, followed by another piece of bacon. Place skewers on a rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Continue skewering until all the ingredients are used up. You should have enough for about twenty skewers. Heat the broiler to high heat. Broil for four minutes, then turn all the skewers over and continue broiling for three to four more minutes or until the bacon is cooked and beginning to brown. Serve hot.
Posted in Asian, Gluten Free, Holidays and Special Occasions
Tagged appetizer, bacon, betty draper, chicken liver, cocktail party, episode 705, mad men, mid century, polynesian, progressive dinner, rumaki, The Runaways, tiki, trader vic's
Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. When I was a kid I desperately wanted to make my mother breakfast in bed. I didn’t really know how to cook, but I just really liked the idea of carrying a tray with breakfast to her and setting it on her lap. I vaguely remember making coffee (probably very badly) and cooking eggs on a plate in the microwave. Now that I am a grown up I would gladly make my mother a gorgeous breakfast in bed, if we lived in the same house. So here Mom, this is what I would make for you tomorrow if we were having a sleepover. Instead I will make it for myself, since I’m a mom now too, and truth be told, I don’t really want to eat what my children would make for me…
So, I just took a break from writing this post to eat one of these little beauties and I am SO happy with how they turned out. The greens are perfectly tender and the cream gives them a wonderful silkiness. Serve with toast points for dunking.
These would be a great make-ahead dish for a brunch. Just multiply the ingredients by the number of guests and prep them up until the baking step. Pop them in the fridge and bake before serving. This recipe makes one.
Oh my god, I just ate another one.
- butter for coating the ramekin
- 1 t. olive oil
- 1 generous C. of chopped fresh cooking greens such as kale, chard, or spinach.
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- salt and pepper
- 4 or 5 cherry tomatoes, halved, optional
- 1/8 C. heavy cream
- 1 fresh egg
- 1 t. grated parmesan cheese
- fresh basil or parsley for garnish
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a ramekin and place it on a rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Heat a skillet over medium heat with the oil. Add the greens, garlic, and tomatoes and cook until the greens are wilted and the tomatoes have given up their juice, about three minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Spoon the greens into the ramekin. Pour the cream over the greens and make a little shallow well in the center, so the yolk will sit in the middle. Crack the egg on top of the greens. Sprinkle the top of the egg gently with the parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until the white of the egg is set. Let these cool for about five minutes before serving. Placing a napkin under the ramekin keeps them from sliding around on the plate.
Posted in Quick Dinners, Vegetarian
Tagged baked eggs, breakfast, breakfast in bed, brunch, chard, cream, easy, eggs, french, greens, kale, make ahead, mother's day, party
If you are hosting Easter Brunch, consider this departure from the usual Mimosa. Martha Stewart featured this cocktail in her April issue and it is a winner! I love the bitterness and vivid color of Campari. Martha’s recipe calls for a splash of club soda, but I think a splash of champagne or prosecco would really take this cocktail to the next level. Thanks Dad for your help with quality control on this one. This would be a terrific drink for brunch because you can easily double or triple it, make it in a pitcher and serve it as your guests arrive with no fuss. The Americano is a distinctly Italian cocktail, created by the makers of Campari in the late 1800′s. Apparently James Bond ordered one in Casino Royale. Serves 1
- 1 oz. Campari
- 1 oz. sweet vermouth, such as Cinzano
- splash of club soda
- twist of lemon or orange
Fill a rocks glass with ice. Pour in the Campari and vermouth, top with club soda (or other bubbles) and garnish with a twist. To make a pitcher, just use equal parts Campari and vermouth and chill. Top with club soda as you pour them.
Posted in Drinks and Cocktails, Holidays and Special Occasions, Italian
Tagged americano, brunch, campari, cinzano, cocktail, easter, easy, pitcher, vermouth