In the Kitchen with Mina

Dear Constant Reader,

I had some fun cooking while Scratch was off having fun at the Burlesque Hall of Fame. Mid-century cuisine, of course, and from one of my favorite cookbook authors.

I chose Wolf in Chef’s Clothing: The Picture Cook and Drink Book for Men by Robert H. Loeb Jr. (1950).

The recipes, for the man who knows nothing about cooking but wants to impress the ladies, have step-by-step illustrations, as seen. The whole thing is whimsical, charming, and gently condescending.

I decided to make “Orange Hawaiian”, which he recommends as either a breakfast dish or an appetizer. I was only making it for one, so I halved the recipe. And ended up having it as sort of a mid-morning snack.

I gathered my ingredients:
an orange, a can of crushed pineapple, sugar*, lemon juice**, sherry, and pistachios.

I cut the orange in half and cut out the fruit and supremed it (that’s a fancy way of saying I got rid of the membrane between pieces). I wished I had one of those funny grapefruit knives, because I needed to be careful not to cut through the peel. The fruit & juice went into a saucepan with the can of crushed pineapple, a little sugar and lemon juice.

You’re supposed to cook until it “looks like thin marmalade”. Whatever that means. I just cooked it low until it simmered a little. Once it’s off the heat, I added a little sherry. Less than called for because the only sherry we had was Harvey’s Bristol Cream*** and I don’t like it much.

Then I scooped the mix into the orange rinds. Not surprisingly, there was more than necessary to fill them, so I dumped the rest in a ramekin. Then I sprinkled them with salted pistachios and baked everything at 350 for 20 minutes. Then I let them cool a bit before eating.

It was good enough, but I’d probably serve it as a dessert rather than breakfast or as an appetizer. I didn’t drain the pineapple and probably should have. To make it really “Hawaiian”, I’d use macadamia nuts; I have no idea how available they were in 1950. I don’t think the sherry added anything, but I used so little that it didn’t detract either. I’m surprised it wasn’t topped with a maraschino cherry.


*Isn’t my sugar bowl lovely? It’s just there for symbolic purposes, as it holds lump sugar. I keep granulated sugar in a utilitarian canister that is unphotogenic.

**Yes, I used the stuff in the bottle. Sue me.

***Don’t judge. It was a gift.

Published in: on 10 June 2013 at 10:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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