Summer Grilling: Antipasto Kabobs, Pizza, and Olive Oil Cake with Meringue Topping

vegan-grilled-kabobs

Sponsored Post – Italian Summer Grilling

I recently started collaborating with online culinary magazine Honest Cooking on projects that are a good fit with what I do and make me happy. One of their new sites, Alimentari, just launched a campaign with Colavita Olive Oil and was looking for bloggers and photographers to make a summer grilling meal. I was all over that because 1) I love cooking Italian food, 2) I love cooking vegan meals in a traditionally non-vegan cuisine, and 3) I don’t own a grill or have a backyard, so I could bring this project somewhere else and turn it into an afternoon of cooking and gathering.

The aforementioned cooking and gathering fell on Mother’s Day, so I sent the ingredients to my family and we spent the day working in the kitchen, and eventually eating everything. I even got to show off my new party trick, making aquafaba meringue.

vegan-grilled-seitan-kabobs

The first dish I made was antipasto kabobs with chick seitan, two kinds of tomatoes, tofu “cheese”, zucchini, summer squash, and red peppers, marinated and grilled. These were an excellent main dish over rice, and can be made with any veggies you want.

Grilled Antipasto Seitan Kabobs

Makes 8 kabobs

Ingredients

Marinade:
1/2 cup Colavita Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Colavita White Balsamic Vinegar
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon basil
Freshly ground black pepper

Seitan and veggies:
8 ounces seitan*
1 small zucchini
1 small summer squash
1/2 package tofu, pressed
1/2 red bell pepper
8 Colavita Sun-dried Tomatoes (in oil)
8 cherry tomatoes

Skewers

Cooked Scotti Black Rice or other grain, for serving

*I used Upton’s Chick Seitan, but the texture of their Traditional Seitan would be more sturdy for kabobs.

Instructions

Mix all of the marinade ingredients in a shallow, rectangular dish. There are going to be 7 pieces on each of the 8 skewers, so break the seitan into 8 pieces, chop the zucchini and summer squash into 8 pieces, slice the tofu into 8 cubes, and cut the red pepper into 8 pieces. The cherry tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes can be used whole. Assemble your kabobs by spearing one of each item on each skewer.

Place the kabobs in the marinade dish and let marinate for at least 2 hours. I reused the leftover marinade with the rest of the tofu and throw in the salad below, so don’t dump your marinade just yet.

Fire up and oil up your grill on medium-high heat, and grill each side for a few minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked and have grill marks. Cook time will vary, depending on your grill. Serve over rice.

vegan-grilled-tofu-kabobs

I’m all about reusing ingredients and sauces in other dishes to create a comprehensive meal, so this salad includes tofu marinated in the kabob marinade. The tofu and a garlic sun-dried tomato raspberry vinaigrette make an otherwise simple salad into a salad you actually want to eat.

Salad

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

Salad:
1/2 block tofu, pressed and cubed
5 ounces mixed greens
1 can chickpeas (save the liquid to make the cake recipe below!)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup cucumber slices

Dressing:
1/2 cup Colavita Raspberry Wine Vinegar
1/4 cup Colavita Roasted Garlic Olive Oil
1/4 cup Colavita Sun-dried Tomatoes (in oil), chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Marinate the tofu in the leftover kabob marinade, or in your marinade of choice. Grill or pan fry the tofu until it’s crispy on all sides. Toss the tofu with the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the whole salad, tossing to coat, or set on the side and let people add dressing as they want.

vegan-grilled-pizza

Since I don’t normally grill, this was my first time making grilled pizza, and the process was very trial and error (I’m glad I made two!). I kept this pizza simple, but you can add whatever toppings you’d like. The Kitchn has a good post on how to grill pizza, so check that out if this is your first time grilling pizza.

Grilled Pizza

Makes 2 small pizzas

Ingredients

1 batch prepared pizza dough (I used the Vegan with a Vengeance recipe)
3/4 cup marinara
1 pint small heirloom tomatoes, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced into rings
1-2 cups vegan mozzarella cheese, as desired
Fresh herbs, as desired

Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

Preheat grill to 550-600°F. Divide your pizza dough into two pieces (one large pizza will be difficult to work with at the grill) and roll out into circles. Oil the pizza dough and the grill very well. Grill each of the rolled out doughs on one side for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet, uncooked side down.

Spread the marinara out on each crust (the grilled side) and arrange the toppings as you like. Transfer to the grill, and cook until the bottom is grilled and the veggies and cheese are cooked. If the cheese doesn’t melt all the way (as vegan cheese sometimes behaves) and you’re worried about burning the crust, pop the pizza under your oven’s broiler for a few minutes.

vegan-meringue-cake

Because I can’t just stop at making dinner, dessert was necessary. This cake is filled with balsamic-glazed strawberries, uses olive oil in place of vegan margarine or vegetable oil, and is topped with Italian meringue dollops and a sprig of fresh basil. You don’t get more Italian than that. I’ve been using every opportunity I have to make aquafaba meringue (and I’m sick of buttercream), and it was perfect on this cake. I didn’t cook the meringue, but you could use a pastry torch to brown the dollops for a golden, crispy exterior.

Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Strawberry Balsamic Filling and Meringue Topping

Makes a 2-layer 9-inch round cake

Ingredients

Cake:
2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 1/3 cups non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling:
1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Colavita Balsamic Glace
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Meringue topping:
1/2 cup aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F.

For the cake: Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, salt, and cayenne and mix until combined.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the olive oil, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Mix all ingredients well.

Pour batter into two prepared 9-inch cake pans and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool before proceeding.

For the filling: Combine the sliced strawberries, sugar, Balsamic Glace, and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until the sugar and cornstarch dissolves, and thickens into a syrup, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Taste and add more Balsamic Glace if you want a stronger flavor.

For the meringue topping: Pour the liquid from the can of chickpeas into the bowl of a stand mixer (or use electric hand mixers…but you don’t want to do this by hand!). Add the cream of tartar. Whip the bean juice with the whisk attachment until it starts to thicken. Gradually add the sugar and vanilla and continue whipping. This process should take 6-8 minutes, but it can take up to 15 or 20 minutes. Here is a video I made detailing the process.

To assemble: Pour the strawberry filling over one cake layer and place the other layer on top. Top with dollops of meringue, then garnish with fresh basil and strawberries, if desired.

colavita-behind-the-scenes

And finally, a little behind-the-scenes imagery from the photoshoot!

Disclosure: Colavita and Honest Cooking provided ingredients and compensation for this post, but they definitely didn’t have to twist my arm. I like food. The prompt was very open-ended, so opinions, words, stylistic choices, and recipes are my own.

Bacon Butter Pecan Ice Cream

bacon-butter-pecan-ice-cream

Yes, Bacon Butter Pecan Ice Cream. When you eat ice cream, do you often find yourself thinking, “this would be better with bacon”? No? Well, I promise there is a reason for this madness: a vegan bacon zine!

I’ve been talking about it and occasionally working on it for years, but I’m now actively making recipes and planning to design and print a bacon-themed zine very soon. If you’ve been following my posts, you may have noticed a the occasional bacon recipe like bacon vodka and Maple Bacon PBR Cupcakes. Since the bacon trend pioneers don’t appear to be calling it quits anytime soon, a bacon zine will still be ever so relevant. Filled with recipes, games, and words, printed on paper, and held together with not two, but three(!!) staples, it’ll be just what you need in your life.

Without further ado, this week’s post features a recipe from the forthcoming zine. If bacon in ice cream is not your thing, you can leave out the bacon and replace the maple syrup with agave or another liquid sweetener for a classic butter pecan ice cream.

This ice cream is smooth, caramel-y, and loaded with flavor and richness. The butter pecans add a punch of flavor on their own, so the bacon is more of an accent. I used chopped Upton’s Bacon Seitan for this recipe because it stays tender after cooking in the butter and sugar syrup (baking with bacon seitan often yields chewier results). I find that coconut cream yields the creamiest vegan ice cream. As I mentioned in my last ice cream post, Thin Mint Ice Cream, you can now buy Trader Joe’s coconut cream in a can without the hassle of separating the fat from a can of coconut milk. It does add a bit of coconut flavor to the ice cream, so try to choose stronger flavors or flavors that complement coconut when using coconut as an ice cream base. The buttery flavor of coconut goes well with the brown sugar and butter pecans.

Bacon Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Makes about 1 ½ pints

Ingredients

¾ cup chopped pecans
⅓ cup chopped vegan bacon
3 tablespoons vegan margarine
1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
14 ounces coconut cream
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup almond (or other non-dairy) milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

Toast the pecans in a dry skillet for 2-3 mins until fragrant, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the bacon and butter. The pecans will burn quickly, so keep an eye on them.
Transfer to a small bowl, then pour in the maple syrup and sprinkle on the 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Set aside to cool.

Combine coconut cream and brown sugar in the saucepan and cook until sugar is dissolved and starts to bubble, then let boil for 3 minutes. Add milk, vanilla extract, and ⅓ cup of the pecan mixture. Let cool.

Freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Put the remainder of the pecan mixture in the freezer for the duration of freezing so it doesn’t bring down the temperature of the ice cream when you add it. Add pecans and bacon in last 5 minutes of freezing.

If you make this recipe (with or without bacon!), let me know how you like it! And I would also love to hear what kind of recipes and content you’d like in a bacon zine, so keep the suggestions coming!

Mad Men MoFo: Behind the Scenes

This is the end of Vegan MoFo 2013, and it’ll end as it began!

This is the final post in which I share the secrets of Mad Men MoFo! “Secrets” sounds far more scandalous than I ever wish to be, and in reality, it’s just some old fashioned planning. I’m always interested in the process of creating, so I though I’d share what I did to prepare for Vegan MoFo this year.

mad-men-props-2

Ideally, I’d like to dress up as Joan Holloway and give you a tour of my lavish photography studio while eating candy cigarettes and sipping a martini, but in reality, this is Mad Men on a budget.

mad-men-propsI started planning for Mad Men MoFo about a month in advance. I know from past years of MoFo participation that struggling to come up with content on the spot is no fun!

I started collecting objects, planning posts, and making sketches. I made an inventory of each of the objects and started to keep track of each time I used them in a shoot (I know!) so one prop wouldn’t show up too much, and I wouldn’t end up buying something and not using it at all. Fortunately, I already owned most of this stuff because hoarding antiques and photography props is what I do.

 

mad-men-prop-styling

While I love planning and organizing, making thumbnails is not my idea of a good time. But the sketches I made were helpful for getting started with the project, like this one for the first post, Sally’s French Toast.

mad-men-sally-french-toast

sally-draper-french-toast

vodka-and-mountain-dew

My desk stayed as “Peggy’s desk” for about two weeks. But I stayed away from the Rocket Fuel.

peggy-mountain-dew

Plans for Margaret Sterling’s wedding right after JFK’s assassination.

mad-men-cake-red-velvet

mad-men-the-grown-ups

mad-men-basket-of-kisses

And a photo from this shoot that didn’t make the cut:

peggy-olson-basket

I don’t live anywhere that looks like Hawaii, but I can make a fakey, over-the-top Hawaiian backdrop with the Photoshop machine.

photoshop-blue-hawaiian

So I suppose this marks the end of Mad Men MoFo. What with limited time, and therefore a limited amount of posts, there’s so much of Mad Men I wanted to cover, but simply couldn’t within the constrains of a month. Like Pete Campbell. He didn’t even get any airtime on here (perhaps that’s a good thing). And more Joan! Luckily I can blog all year, so this won’t be the last Mad Men post ever.

Thank you so much for reading my blog this month, and I hope you stick around for regularly scheduled programming! I’ll let Joan handle the final words of Mad Men MoFo 2013:

joan-holloway-gif

“Hawaii. The jumping off point.”

blue-hawaiian

Welcome to the final Mad Men Cocktail Friday and the penultimate episode of Mad Men MoFo! We’re taking a trip to Hawaii for today’s cocktails: Blue Hawaiian and Piña Colada.

Mad Men season six opens with Don and Megan’s Hawaiian vacation. Shortly after, Hawaii becomes the inspiration for an ad campaign. While Don’s personal life affects his work in a variety of ways, this time it’s not completely negative or insane. The hotel company rejects the ad, claiming the ad suggests character in the narrative “jumped off” to commit suicide. Creative says that’s what makes it a brilliant ad.

hawaii-the-jumping-off-point

It’s no wonder Hawaii is subtly significant in the Mad Men world and fills even Don with slightly less angst. It’s a self-contained paradisaical escape from their sloppy, sordid lives. Madison Avenue’s utopian antithesis. But it wouldn’t be Mad Men if the booze wasn’t flowing, even in Hawaii.

Blue Hawaiian

Ingredients

1 oz blue Curaçao
1 oz light rum
1 oz cream of coconut
2 oz pineapple juice
1 cup of ice

1 cherry
1 slice of pineapple

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except cherry and pineapple, in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Garnish with cherry and pineapple. Add a cocktail umbrella if desired.

Piña Colada

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz light rum
2 oz cream of coconut
2 oz pineapple juice
1 cup crushed ice

1 cherry
1 slice of pineapple

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except cherry and pineapple, in a blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Garnish with cherry and pineapple. Add a cocktail umbrella if desired.
Photo credit: AMC

Photo credit: AMC

Have a lovely weekend, and thank you for following Mad Men MoFo this month! I will be back on Monday with a final post, behind the scenes of Mad Men MoFo.

“I watched the sunrise today. Couldn’t sleep.”

“How was it?”

“Average.”

I decided to turn a room into a camera obscura for this photo (no Photoshop!). A camera obscura is created by letting a small amount of light into a pitch dark vessel through a pinhole. Such vessels include a camera, cardboard box, or in this case, a room with the window completely covered, save for a small hole cut out. The light that enters through the pinhole will project an inverted image of whatever is on the other side of the window (like a house and a tree…not very interesting, but what I had to work with), much like the human eye interprets the world.

candied-starfruit

While the brain automatically flips the images the eye registers so we see the world right side up, a pinhole and a wall don’t have a brain, so we get an inverted image in a camera obscura. After your eyes adjust, the image on the wall will become quite clear, but a camera with a very long exposure will do an even better job of seeing it and will bring out color and detail. Yay, science!

Photo credit: BBC

Photo credit: BBC

So what does this have to do with Mad Men? In the season three episode, ‘Seven Twenty Three’ there is a total eclipse of the sun (you’re welcome!) and it seems to make the characters a little madder. Betty buys a fainting couch, Don drugs himself with secobarbital and alcohol, then gets beaten and robbed by the teenage hitchhikers he picked up, Peggy makes some questionable decisions, and Don is forced to sign a contract with Sterling Cooper. One of the more innocuous scenes is Sally’s third grade class turning cardboard boxes into camera obscurae in order to look at the eclipse.

vegan-moon-pies

With the Space Race underway and the solar eclipse in this episode, I decided to photograph a space-themed dessert in the camera obscura: Vegan Moon Pies and Candied Starfruit. Two graham crackers sandwiched between marshmallow fluff and dipped in chocolate, then garnished with candied starfruit. It’s barely a recipe, but it produces some seriously delicious results. I used peanut butter cookies instead of graham crackers because peanut butter cookies are better than graham crackers.

Moon Pies

Ingredients

Graham crackers or cookies
Vegan marshmallows or marshmallow fluff
Chocolate
Vegetable shortening

Instructions

  1. If graham crackers are not circle-shaped, cut them into circles.
  2. Make a sandwich with two crackers and marshmallow fluff. Pop in the freezer for a half hour to make for easier dipping.
  3. Melt chocolate chips, adding 1 tablespoon of vegetable shortening per cup.
  4. Dip sandwiches in chocolate and let set on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Candied Starfruit

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 starfruit

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil around 230°F.
  2. Cut starfruit into thin slices. Add to the saucepan and let boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit in the syrup for 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the starfruit to a parchment-lined baking sheet using a slotted spoon. Let cool.
  4. At this point, you can either dehydrate the slices with a dehydrator, or an oven at its lowest temperature (crack the oven door open, even). Let dehydrate until chewy and free of moisture. Mine took a couple of hours in a 170°F oven with the door cracked open.
Photo credit: AMC

Photo credit: AMC

Don’t look at the eclipse, Betty. Your eyes will melt.

camera-obscura-photo

And a final image inside the camera obscura. While Photoshop probably would have been much easier, it would have been way less fun and magical.

P.S. Today the Vegan MoFo blog is giving away a copy of the yet-to-be-released Cheers to Vegan Sweets. Head on over there to enter!

Cheers to Vegan Sweets

“Sally, go watch TV.”

*Warning: season three spoilers!

vegan-peach-pie

When I was watching Mad Men for the first time. The second time around, I was supposed to pay attention to food, design, and table setting for this project, but alas, I got sucked in and forgot for the greater portion of six seasons. However, there are some scenes that I didn’t need to actively remember because they made quite an impression.

mad-men-peach-pie

One of those scenes is in season three episode four, ‘The Arrangements.’ After Grandpa Gene’s death, the adults are sitting at the dining table, a world away from Sally. When she witnesses a moment of levity, she bursts forth with emotion, exclaiming no one cares that Gene is gone forever, and gets brushed off by Betty. (“Sally, go watch TV.”) Betty snacks on the bruised peaches while the TV pacifies Sally in her ballet outfit. Besides the beautiful and emotive imagery, this scene speaks volumes. While defeated Sally lies on the floor, the adults make no attempt to show her that her claims are wrong, and continue with their sordid, repressed lives.

For me, it evokes Gregory Crewdson*, creator of lush imagery dealing with suburban psychological unrest. His images are not specific to any time period, but there are certainly visual crossovers with Mad Men.

*Sidenote: I attended an artist talk of his where he referred to Mad Men as “the greatest work of sustained art in the past ten years.” See, full circle logic!
mad-men-the-arrangements

Photo credit: AMC

Prior to his passing, Sally became close to Grandpa Gene. He was letting Sally drive his car down the street when he says he’ll buy her peaches that afternoon. Bobby complains that he’s allergic to peaches, but Gene tells him to shut it because his sister wants them. It’s at the A&P buying the peaches where he collapses.

sally-draper-driving

Photo credit: AMC

With this series of events in mind, I decided to make peach pie à la mode as a gesture toward Sally, even though she would be much older now, and also she’s not a real person. Betty probably would probably take it away from her anyway.

peach-pie-vegan

Sweet vanilla bean ice cream and warm peaches offer a short, transient window of time to enjoy the dessert. I styled the photos after the image of the dining room and Sally in her ballet outfit, using dark, moody lighting and sheer fabrics.

mad-men-pie-recipe

Peach Pie

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

Crust:

3 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup margarine
1/4 cup cold vodka or ice water
3 tablespoons ice water

Filling:

8 peaches (5 cups sliced)
Pinch of lemon zest
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  1. Make the crust. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl
  2. Cut in shortening and margarine and mix in with your hands until the dough looks like sand.
  3. Add vodka and ice water and mix until a dough forms, adding more water if necessary.
  4. Separate the dough into two portions, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour.
  5. Remove the peach skins by blanching the peaches. Boil a large pot of water, and prepare an ice bath.
  6. Score a small X in the top of each peach. Place all the peaches in the boiling water for 45 seconds, then immediately transfer them to the ice bath. The skins will slip right off.
  7. Slice the peaches and set aside. Wait to make the filling because it will get too liquidy if it sits for too long.
  8. Preheat oven to 425°F. Roll out one of the chilled doughs and place in a greased pie plate. Poke with a fork so steam can escape. Pre-bake the crust for 8 minutes. Let cool.
  9. Make the filling. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, sugars, spices, cornstarch, and salt to the peaches and mix until completely combined. Pour into pie crust. Dot with butter.
  10. Make a lattice crust with the other portion of dough. There are people with beautiful kitchens on YouTube who can teach you how to make a lattice crust.
  11. Place completed pie on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Reduce the heat to 375°F and finish baking for 30 minutes.
  13. Let cool, then cut and serve.

vegan-peach-pie-recipe

Tom Collins: “Okay, you don’t smash the cherry on that.”

“Just plop it in at the end. Try to keep it in the top of the glass. Gin.”

tom-collins-recipe

It’s Mad Men Cocktail Friday and I’m borrowing Sally Draper’s Tom Collins expertise for the day. From Tom Collins to Bloody Mary, the eldest Draper child knows her stuff when it comes to cocktails. On a seemingly eternal quest to prove her adulthood, Sally began mixing drinks garnished with sass in the early days of Mad Men.

sally-draper-quotes

In lieu of your own Sally, you’ll probably have to mix your own Tom Collins. Cheers!

Tom Collins

Ingredients

2 ounces gin
2 ounces lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
Club soda

Lemon slices
Cherry

Instructions

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake.
  2. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice and lemon slices. Top off with club soda.
  3. Garnish with a cherry.

lemon-tom-collins

Meditations in an Emergency

*Warning: season two spoilers!

mad-men-gimlet-recipe

Welcome back to Mad Men Cocktail Friday, Thursday edition. After a week largely focused on Betty Draper, I thought an extra cocktail recipe, the Vodka Gimlet, was in order. We see Betty with her signature drink in season one, but the most notable Gimlet she orders is the one accompanied with her affair in the season two finale, ‘Meditations in an Emergency.’

It’s the thick of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Betty just received news that she’s pregnant, and she and Don are separated. She stops in a Manhattan bar and a man buys her a drink. Though she initially brushes him off to nurse her Gimlet, they are later seen together in a room behind the bar. They get dressed and go their separate ways.

While Betty’s Gimlet was likely vodka, gin is also acceptable.

Betty Draper’s Vodka Gimlet

Ingredients

1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Lime slice for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine vodka and lime juice in a mixing glass filled with ice.
  2. Strain into a martini glass.
  3. Garnish with lime.
Photo credit: AMC

Photo credit: AMC

“But that’s life. One minute you’re on top of the world…”

…the next minute some secretary’s running you over with a lawn mower.”

joan-holloway-cake

Hey, remember when Lois the secretary runs over Guy MacKendrick’s foot with a lawnmower at Joan’s going away party? And right after he got his foot in the door?! (Thanks, Roger.)

After two days of Betty, I felt that this week needed some silly comic relief. Here is Joan’s cake after the splat heard ’round the office.

“What an interesting experiment.”

Welcome back to Betty’s dinner party. You better be enjoying yourself! For the main course, we’re having rosemary seitan “leg of lamb” with mint jelly, and German egg noodles (Spätzle) like Grandma Hofstadt used to make. There is French Burgundy wine and Heineken to drink. And the napkins match the dress Betty will wear for 36+ hours!

betty-draper-party

Around the World Menu

Mixed Drinks

Gazpacho (Spain)
Rumaki (Japan)

Leg of Lamb with Mint Jelly (Dutchess County)
Spätzle (Germany)

Burgundy (France)
Heineken (Holland)

mad-men-betty

Leg of Lamb with Mint Jelly

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

2 cups gluten flour
2 tablespoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
⅓ cup olive oil
¾ cup red wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
¼ cup lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, grated

Mint jelly

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F, about 10 times warmer than your disposition.
  2. Combine gluten flour, cornmeal, dried rosemary, salt, and black pepper in a mixing bowl or stand mixer equipped with a dough hook. Fantasize about taking that dough hook to Don’s jugular.
  3. Combine olive oil, red wine, soy sauce, lemon juice, and garlic in a separate bowl. Take a break and finish that bottle of wine.
  4. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Knead until it’s as flexible as Don’s morals.
  5. Coat the dough with olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake at least 1 hour, or until firm. Unwrap for the last 15 minutes of baking.
  6. Brush with mint jelly and bake for 10-12 more minutes.
  7. Slice and serve with more mint jelly.
Photo credit: AMC

Photo credit: AMC

While Mad Men doesn’t specify what kind of egg noodles Betty serves, Spätzle fits the bill as a German noodle dish. You could probably use the Vegg or a different egg replacer in the dough, but soy flour was what I had on hand. I served the noodles with caramelized onions, pan-frying the noodles with the onions for a few minutes before plating.

Spätzle

Serves 5

Ingredients

4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup soy flour
3 tablespoons oil
1 1/2-2 cups water, as needed

Instructions

  1. Pour flour in a mixing bowl and stir in the salt. Ruminate on your invisibility and powerlessness, much like the salt.
  2. Combine soy flour and oil in a separate bowl and stir until combined. The mixture will be as thick and sludgy as your personality.
  3. Add soy flour and oil mixture, as well as 1 1/2 cups water, to the flour. Mix until a bread-like dough forms, adding more water if necessary.
  4. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Take small pieces of dough and roll into noodles, kind of the size and shape of wax beans.
  5. Boil 12-14 noodles at a time and remove when they rise to the top of the water. Transfer cooked noodles to a bowl of cold water.
  6. Repeat until all the dough is used. Store noodles in an (unlike Don’s excuses) airtight container with water until ready to use.

mad-men-party

The evening turns sour when Betty unknowingly participates in Don’s market research. Heineken is a Sterling Cooper client and Don insists the target demographic for the beer is a Bryn Mawr alumna turned passive-aggressive housewife with a penchant for exoticism (or something like that). This embarrasses Betty when she walks right into the joke by purchasing the beer. Of course, the problem is not the Heineken incident, but Don’s adulterous adultery. Poor Betty.

Photo credit: AMC

Photo credit: AMC