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.