Posted by: Erica Retrochef | March 2, 2015

Pork Chops in the Corn

My favorite retro recipes are the ones that combine ingredients you might not expect. Now, corn isn’t an unreasonable side dish for pork chops. Canned corn is actually one of my kids’ preferred sides, so it comes up next to a lot of things.

It’s a lot more unusual for the pork chops to go in the corn.


Pork Chops in the Corn

4 shoulder pork chops
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 cups cream style corn
2 eggs, beaten
4 tablespoons chopped onion
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
Garnishes: Stuffed green olives, sliced, and parsley

Brown chops on both sides. Pour off fat. Season chops; arrange along sides of 5 or 6 cup baking dish not over 2″ deep. Mix crumbs, milk, corn, eggs and seasonings in pan in which chops were browned. Pour into baking dish. Bake in slow oven (325°F.) about 45 min. or till sharp knife inserted in center comes out clean. Garnish as shown, if desired. Serves 4.

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | February 16, 2015

Mona Lindsay’s Olive Meatloaf

Meatloaf is a great comfort food classic and I’m always looking for new retro meatloaves… meatloafs?… meatloaf recipes to try.


And this one is apparently fine art.

2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 bacon slices, halved
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon each basil, oregano and salt
1 can (6 oz.) Lindsay Pitted Black Ripe Olives, drained
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

In large bowl, thoroughly mix all ingredients except Lindsay Olives, tomato sauce and bacon. Mix in Lindsay Olives, reserving 5 for garnish. In a 9×13-inch baking pan, shape mixture into a 4×12-inch rounded loaf. Pour tomato sauce over loaf. Lay bacon slices across loaf. Bake in 350°F. oven 1 hour 15 minutes. Garnish with reserved Lindsay Olives. Slice to serve hot or cold. Makes 8 servings.

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | February 2, 2015

Three Second Appetizer


Let’s say you’re a glamorous socialite and are throwing a party. And you were so busy putting on eyeliner to get those eyes just right that you completely forgot you were supposed to have food at your party. At least some snacks. Something for people to put in their faces when they get tired of making small talk.

And the doorbell rings, and you realize there’s nothing on the table, and you have three seconds to throw something together before opening the door and pretending you were totally prepared all along.

What’s a girl to do?

Put a slab of cream cheese in a shallow bowl and pour A.1. Steak Sauce liberally over it. (Looks like a chocolate sundae.) Circle with crackers or potato chips. As guests dip in, the tangy A.1. flavor blends with the cheese to make a delicious spread.

Super Bowl Sunday isn’t super-fancy, so I didn’t wear my veiled hat when I made this yesterday. I didn’t even put on nail polish or eyeliner. Let’s see how this quickie appetizer turns out…

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | January 26, 2015

Sunday Dinner Hot Dogs

So I’ve been a little behind with updating recently. The reason is we have a new house! Newer kitchen — and still lots of old recipes with which to entertain and baffle my loyal readers.


This week, we’re attempting a recipe from a pamphlet published by Hebrew National, purveyors of kosher, all-beef hot dogs.



Split frankfurters almost through lengthwise, and open out. Allowing 2 frankfurters per serving, put half of frankfurters on baking sheet; top with a generous amount of your favorite stuffing. Cover each with a second split frankfurter, and top with a slice of beef-fry. Bake in moderate oven, 375°F., 20 minutes. Delicious with French-cut snap beans and whole-kernel corn.

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | January 12, 2015

i Polpettoni Saporiti

Ettore Boiardi emigrated to America and helped popularize Italian cuisine.


2 lbs. ground chuck
1/2 cup minced onions
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 egg sligtly beaten
1 (15 1/2-oz.) can Chef Boy-Ar-Dee Spaghetti Sauce with Mushrooms
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/3 cup minced green pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Mix first five ingredients together. Add 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce. On waxed paper, press mixture into 12″ x 7″ rectangle. Cut crosswise into 6 strips. Mix rice, green pepper, 1/4 cup sauce. Divide rice into 6 parts; put in center of strips. Fold meat over rice, shaping each into a loaf. Put on baking sheet. Spoon 1/2 cup sauce over loaves. Bake 25 minutes. Spoon remaining sauce over loaves. Bake 10 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

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Posted by: Buzz | January 5, 2015

Vegetables With a Flair: Corn ‘n Chives

We needed a simple side dish, to go along with some bean burgers, and I recalled these three ideas from an old Stokely-Van Camp ad.


Since these recipes were apparently created to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of Stokely-Van Camp, I am tentatively dating this recipe to 1961, the centenary of the founding of Gilbert Van Camp’s food company. (The brand is best known for their baked beans, pioneered by Gilbert’s son in the 1890s; the whole Van Camp brand was bought out by the Stokely brothers, who owned a tomato cannery, in 1933.)


This corn is supposed to be extravagant, and I love extravagance. So let’s get to it!


(Although, really, how extravagant can a recipe with only four ingredients be?) We take some corn and heat it in the microwave. The microwave wouldn’t have been available in 1961, which just makes this recipe even more fabulous!

A little bit of margarine melted on top. Then I added lemon juice. I wasn’t quite sure how much to put in. I know how much “a dash” of a dry ingredient is (although I’m not sure how close my standard dash is to the nominal value of one eighth of a teaspoon), but I do not have the same intuition for a liquid dash. I ended up adding about a quarter of a teaspoon.


Fresh chives are not in season, so I rehydrated some dried stalk pieces.


The chive bits were liberally sprinkled over the top.


And serving was simple.


I thought it tasted pretty good, but everyone else at the table felt that the lemon juice was annoying. There were no comments on the chives; the combination of dehydrated chives and their small quantity made them almost unnoticeable. However, good quality corn kernels with a little margarine are hard to criticize, and the kids were soon asking for second helping. So “flair” might be a bit of a stretch, but these certainly was very edible corn.

Posted by: Erica Retrochef | December 29, 2014

Winter Carnival Casserole

It’s just past the winter solstice, and winter is really getting ramped up. Short, cold days — the perfect time for rich, warm casseroles.

Like this Karo Winter Carnival Casserole “You’ll love its hearty goodness and piquant taste. What gives that extra special flavor? Karo Syrup! For Karo adds delicious new flavor and appetizing new texture to foods.”

Heat 2 tbsp. corn oil in skillet. Add 1/4 cup each finely chopped onion and green pepper; cook until tender. Add 1 lb. ground beef; brown, stirring often. Pour out and save 1/4 cup liquid from 1 lb. 12 oz. can of tomatoes. Add remainder of tomatoes, 1/2 cup of Karo All-Purpose Syrup, 1/2 tsp. each salt and chili powder, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1 bay leaf to meat mixture. Bring to boil, cover, simmer 15 minutes. Blend 2 tbsp. corn starch with the 1/4 cup of tomato liquid; stir into meat mixture. Bring to boil, stirring. Add 3 cups cooked macaroni or rice; pour into 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with 1 cup shreded Cheddar cheese. Bake in 350° oven about 30 minutes. Makes 6 delicious servings!

Wait — we’re putting corn syrup in a casserole?

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Posted by: Buzz | December 22, 2014

Mincemeat Christmas Cake


There are a lot of recipes for fruitcake out there, and a lot of holiday recipes that call for mincemeat. I’ve even seen them overlap before.

But I have to admit, I never expected either one to involve mayonnaise.

Mix 1 c. prepared mincemeat, 1 c. chopped walnuts, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1 tbs. rum flavoring. Blend 1 c. Best Foods or Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise, 1 1/2 c. buttermilk. Over mixture, sift 3 c. sifted flour, 1 1/2 c. sugar, 3/4 tsp. soda, 1 tsp. salt. Add grated rind of 1 orange, mix thoroughly. Stir in mincemeat mixture. Line bottom 9-in. tube pan with brown paper, pour in batter, bake at 325° F. 2 hrs.

What a great way to save on expensive eggs! Use mayonnaise (which is made from yolks) instead! That’ll save money for sure.

And cakes with mayo aren’t a new thing, even in the world of retro recipe testing. (Cranberry Mayonnaise Cake, for example.)

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | December 4, 2014

Turkey Salad and Cranberry Orange Ring

For us, a Jell-o fruit salad was a standard part of the Thanksgiving table — at least until a majority of family members objected strongly enough that Grandma finally realized nobody was eating it.

She stopped making it about ten years ago, and so there’s been a distinct lack of gelatin during this time of year. It’s time to change that.


And for extra fun, let’s throw leftover turkey on the middle!


Cranberry Orange Ring

2 oranges
1 package (6 oz.) Jello-O Strawberry Gelatin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups (one 16-oz. can) jellied cranberry sauce
2/3 cup chopped nuts

Grate 1 tablespoon rind from oranges. Section oranges; finely dice and drain sections. Dissolve gelatin and salt in boiling water. Stir cranberry sauce until smooth; blend into gelatin with orange rind. Chill until slightly thickened. Fold in diced orange and nuts. Pour into 5-cup ring mold. Chill until firm. Unmold. Makes 4 1/4 cups or 8 servings. Fill with 6 cups of turkey salad.

Turkey Salad. Combine 5 cups diced cooked turkey, 2 1/2 cups diced celery, 1 1/4 cups mayonnaise, and 1/4 cup lemon juice; season to taste. Chill.

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Posted by: Erica Retrochef | December 1, 2014

Peppermint Bonbon Cake

‘Tis the season to be endlessly annoyed by holiday sales and endless carols. And fruitcakes.

Want a high-quality peppermint dessert? Try this 1946 Betty Crocker recipe


Peppermint Bonbon Cake

Sift together: 2 cups sifted SOFTASILK, 1 1/3 cups sugar, 3 tsp. double-action baking powder, 1 tsp. salt

Add: 1/3 cup high grade vegetable shortening, 1/2 tsp. lemon extract, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and 2/3 of 1 cup milk. Beat 2 minutes.

Add: remaining 1/3 cup milk, 1/3 cup unbeaten egg yolks (4 medium). Beat 2 minutes.

Pan Size: 2 round layers, 8-in. diameter, 1 1/2-in. deep. (Grease and flour pans; then line bottoms with plain paper cut to fit and greased.)

Temperature: 350° (moderate oven).
Time: 30 to 35 minutes.

Tint half the batter a delicate pink with red food coloring. Pour here and there over white batter in pan. Cut through batter several times with knife for marbled effect. Frost with Fluffy White Icing flavored with peppermint and tinted delicate pink… forming ridge around top of cake and reserving several tablespoons to use later. Melt together 1 sq. (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate and 1/4 tsp. shortening. Pour over top of cake keeping inside of ridge. When chocolate has set, drop small spoonfuls of pink icing on top to form 5 bonbons.

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