Thursday, 28 July 2011

Vintage Recipe Cooking!

Oh yes, I've actually got round to cooking some of my vintage recipes in a manner worthy of blogging. I fully admit, I have played it safe this time and avoided such manifestations of 70s huite cuisine as 'jellied chicken towers', but this is a bit of a warm-up on this type of post. If you likes it, let me know, and I will make more.

Oh, and certain person reading this who thinks their vegetarianism will free them of the jelly towers... two words: 'agar' and 'tofu'. No one will escape my 70s cooking wrath...

The two recipes I have tried and reviewed so far are from this 1978 wonderbook:

I must admit, it is a slightly low-risk option. As an everyday working mum's companion, many of the recipes are pretty timeless and resemble (albeit with fewer exotic spices and a dependence on lard over vegetable oil) the fare of a modern kitchen. But this is good: if I am ever to lure His Lordship into my more dastardly culinary plans, I must first tempt him with '70s kitsch lite'.

The format of my reviews will tend to be:
  • Scanned-in recipe with the original photo
  • My photo (every attempt will be made to colour my versions as gaudily as the originals)
  • Taste review
  • Suggestions for 'tweaks' to suit the modern palate (if needed).
Recipe One: Mushroom Cream Flan

I think my version came out rather well in terms of colour. I know the base is rather wonky: my original base didn't bake too well (it was a humid day, and I think I worked the pastry too long) so I cobbled together a messy base from scraps. However the key 'neon peppers' and dark mushrooms are there and the look is pretty authentic, if not buffet-supper-perfect.

This was actually very tasty indeed, and a bit of an inspiration for pick-nicks and so forth. Essentially, it's a savoury cheesecake- the base is chopped hard boiled eggs in philly cheese, topped with cooked peppers and mushrooms and chilled. It's very creamy and rich, but the soft-with-bit peppers counter that nicely, and the mushrooms add a satisfying savoury flavour. The tart looks pretty tiny but you only need one slice. I would definitely make this again, my only tweaks would be to simply fry the mushrooms (I think their cooking instructions were from back when mushrooms were grown in poo and needed uber-cooking), use low-fat philly and perhaps add a pinch of paprika or white pepper to the base mix. But this is a keeper. Had I been asked to provide something for the bosses Christmas buffet this would take pride of place next to the Blue Nun. Oh, but with a neater base. Which I will buy next time (oooh what a cheat).

Recipe Two: Bacon Savoury Rice

Ah, this is clearly the cowardly custard recipe- I knew right off it couldn't really go wrong or come out insanely bizarre. A bit of a presentation fail though, this time. Not being Margot I didn't actually arrange it wonderfully on a plate with garnishes- I plonked it out of the saucepan onto the serving plates with some watercress on the side. Rice is rice though. To my eyes, it always looks yum:

Excuse the flan cooling rack, avec crumbs, behind.
Housewife fail #2.
This was rather tasty, although I felt it did lack seasoning. The bacon made it pleasantly salty, but some pepper or herbs wouldn't got amiss. I ended up slathering mine with Encona chilli sauce, however as I do this with pretty much everything, I wouldn't read too much into it. The recipe makes a lot - as you might expect cooled then carefully chilled (you need to be careful with rice) it makes a good rice salad. If I were making it without the bacon I would use a stock cube or some marmite to add flavour in future.

So, there you go: two keepers. If you like these recipe reviews I will keep 'em coming, eating is no effort for me whatsoever. I'm building up to piping mash and covering things in cream sauces of unnatural colour- ooh, next time I might don my crimplene evening dress and serve it all up on a trolley!


  1. Great idea, the bacon rice looks yummy! x

  2. mmm, everything look yummy amor.
    Buddy loves that Econa chili sauce, he puts on all his food along with green salsa.
    here is my new blog link, just incase you lost me.

  3. That book takes me back, I remember using that in Home Economics back at school.
    The mushroom cream thingy looks very tasty but I do hate the word "flan". x

  4. Wow looking good!!! I am useless at cooking, I just get bored half way though or distracted or, well anything, happens and it all goes to pot!

  5. Oh wow, how lovely, you are a super cook, I'm really impressed, you are a better cook than I. I even burn water!

    Tofu rules in my book!

  6. The first made me shudder, as I hate mushrooms. But bacon rice looks good! x

  7. Keep them coming!

    We've just got rid of a giant stack of 70's Supacook recipe books as they were taking up way too much room and never got used. Every recipe I ever seemed to look up featured aubergines or walnuts. God knows why they were so popular back then!

  8. To my (vegetarian) eyes the flan looks super yummy!!! Bet DG would like the bacon rice though!! (great post idea by the way!)X

  9. Oh super! I've got lots of old cookbooks that I have been planning to do similar posts with but I am no where near getting round to it yet! The food looks nice. Hamlyn books are utterly brilliant. I've got modern ones too, they are just super.

  10. Really looking delicious and yummy this dish with chili . Even my all friends love it. i'll definitely recommend this site to my friends and i have also bookmarked it.

  11. Wao! yummy dish. my all friends like it. even when we think to throw a party, we simply go to jim's home . His mother make it for us from chili recipe .

  12. Thanks for this beautiful recipe i love it,and I love the idea of using lettuce in this!Bet it's completely delicious
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  13. Thanks for this beautiful recipe i love it,and I love the idea of using lettuce in this!Bet it's completely delicious.
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Let me know what you think!