Tuna-Cheesettes

Tuna-Cheesettes

A Recipe from preparing foods with Reynolds Wrap pure aluminum foil (195?)

About the Recipe

Imagine a tuna-melt. Now imagine that the tuna salad part has a few more ingredients than it really should. Now imagine that instead of quickly grilling it up, you’ve got to put it on a bun, wrap it in tinfoil, and bake it for a half hour. Voila! The Tuna-Cheesette is born!

This has all of the trappings of a classic post-war recipe – canned ingredients, using a war material for something other than artillery, a vaguely brown and smushy end product that tastes great, but just will not photograph well, no matter how hard you try. It’s worth the effort, though watch the salt levels. Both the husband and the brother commented on how salty the end result was (though it heartily got the husband seal of approval).

Aside from that – enjoy! These are great make-ahead sandwiches, and I could even see them working really well for sticking on charcoal for a camping trip or barbeque.

About the Book

I was so excited to get this booklet along with some of the Culinary Arts and Pillsbury booklets. It’s got great illustrations, and is so illustrative of that particular brand of re-marketing that was happening after the war. The advertising company that decided this booklet was a good idea took great pains to go through literally every use you can possibly imagine for aluminum foil.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1/4 lb. processed American cheese, cubed
3 hard cooked egg yolks, chopped
1 7-ounce can tuna, flaked
2 T chopped green pepper
2 T minced onion
2 T chopped sweet pickle
1/2 cup salad dressing
2 T chopped stuffed olives
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper
6 hamburger or other thick buns

Directions:

Combine ingredients except buns, mixing lightly. Split buns, spread with softened butter or margarine and fill. Wrap buns in Reynolds Wrap. Place on shallow pan and bake in slow oven (325*F) 35 minutes, until filling is heated and cheese melts. Serve hot.

Baked Fillets of Haddock or Cod with Potatoes

Baked Fillets of Haddock or Cod with Potatoes

A Recipe from The Art of Dutch Cooking (1961)

About the Recipe

I’ve always been a bit hesitant to try cooking white, flaky fish. I have no good reason why, other than no one ever taught me how to cook it, so I’m relying simply on the recipe. The good news is – this is a great, easy to follow recipe.

This particular try was a lesson in the quarantine classic – make it work with what’s on hand. I used small potatoes and ended up substituting plain yogurt for the sour cream. I mixed in some shallots with the single onion that I had on hand. Lo and behold – it definitely works. The top is a nice, fluffy souffl√© with a little crisp from the breadcrumbs. The inside is like a flaky fish stew, savory and delicious. This one will go into regular rotation for sure.

About the Book

This is a newer book to my shelves, and I was so delighted when it came and was even better than I had thought. The illustrations are so beautiful. Take a deeper look at it here:

From the two fisherman to their fishing basket, the details are just so lovely. While the recipes are a little bit vague, the book is wonderful. I love learning about a culture through their food, and this book is perfect for that kind of journey.

About the Glassware

Officially this dish is called the Deluxe Cinderella Casserole dish, but most folks call the pattern Golden Hearts. It was released only in 1959 and in its full set comes with a lid (not pictured) and a cradle with a double candle warmer. A dream for any aspiring hostess!

This was a gift from a close friend to warm my new home and kitchen. Lucky me – when she brought it over it was filled with her signature mashed potatoes. YUM!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

2 onions, chopped
3 T butter
6 fillets of haddock or cod
1 pound potatoes
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
Bread crumbs

Directions:

Fry the onions in the butter. Flatten out the fish. Boil the potatoes for 10 minutes and slice them. Put in a greased ovenproof dish a layer of fish, cover with a layer of potatoes and some of the fried onions; then a layer of fish, and so forth. End with a layer of potatoes. Beat the eggs with the salt for a few minutes. Add the sour cream and pour over the fish. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake in a moderate oven (350*F) for about 3/4 hour. Any kind of fish can be used for this recipe.

 

Shrimp Louisiana

Shrimp Louisiana

A Recipe from 250 different FISH and SEA FOOD Recipes (1950)

About the Recipe

As I pulled the shrimp out of the freezer this morning I thought – gee I’m bored with my usual shrimp recipes – so I pulled out a new old one! In full truth, I’ve never been to Louisiana, so I can’t speak to whether this tastes like shrimp from Louisiana or not, but it certainly is a shrimp dish with a kick!

It was so quick and easy to come together, which is not always the case with recipes from the Culinary Arts Institute. Quick tip – I added more onion (always add more onion) and I used butter for my fat (because yum).

There’s a tip hidden just above the photo in the book about pairing creamy shrimp dishes with potato nests. I improvised with some instant mashed potatoes left over from the Potato-Pan Burger. All in all – a win!

About the book

I have several of these booklets released by the Culinary Arts Institute in the 50’s. They’re always a weird mix of really challenging and super simple dishes. This fish one was a new acquisition and I was excited to have more variety to add to my fish game. Based on this recipe, it won’t disappoint!

About the glassware

This Hazel Atlas Ivy bowl is part of a set that I got with a friend in North Carolina. I’ve not had the opportunity to use this small one yet, and it’s so cute! The perfect dish for this savory, creamy shrimp.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 t minced onion
1/4 cup fat
2 cups Boiled Shrimp*
1/4 cup flour
1 t salt
1 t chili powder
2 cups milk
1/4 cup tomato catchup
2 T minced parsley

Directions:

Cook onion in fat until tender; add shrimp broken into pieces; brown. Stir in flour, salt and chili powder. Add milk gradually; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add catchup and parsley; cover and heat thoroughly.

Note:

*While this recipe calls to have the shrimp pieces pre-boiled, I find that shrimp so easily overcooks that in dishes like this one it comes out better if you throw in the raw shrimp pieces. Use your judgement!

Tuna Salad Crescent Bake

Tuna Salad Crescent Bake

A Recipe from 100 Bake-Off Recipes…from the 20th annual Bake-Off (1969)

About the Recipe

When I first saw this recipe, I thought – oh that looks like one that will become a staple! And don’t get me wrong, it’s really good, it just needs a few adjustments. Give this one a try for sure, but half the amount of mayo and half the amount of cottage cheese and you should be good. I actually liked this one a little bit better cold, but it would have been marvelous hot if it hadn’t been so wet.

Another note – I might try this in a 9″ pie dish next time. I’m guessing that the crescent rolls used to be packaged a little bit differently, because this certainly wasn’t close to a square.

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

It seemed appropriate to use this very American cookbook on the 4th of July. Something about 1969 screams stars and stripes throughout cultural references to the time, and certainly this book with it’s “GREAT AMERICAN EVENT” on the inside cover stands as the same.

One more note on this one – Ann Pillsbury, our wonderful cookbook narrator has been replaced! Further research reveals that Ann Pillsbury, much like Betty Crocker, never really existed in the first place. “Ann” could be a reference to Charles Alfred Pillsbury’s wife, Mary Ann (pure speculation, I have found no research to support this).

At any rate, she disappears for Bake-Off #20 being replaced by the Director of the Pillsbury Consumer Service Kitchens, Barbara Thornton. This, like the cookbook title, continues to evolve over the next few books. Stay tuned!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 can (8 oz.) Pillsbury Refrigerated Quick Crescent Dinner Rolls
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c salad dressing or mayonnaise (NOTE: Use half this amount for less mushy dish)
6 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1 family-size can (9 1/4 oz) chunk style tuna, drained
1 c peas*
1 c creamed cottage cheese (NOTE: Use half this amount for less mushy dish)
6 slices processed American cheese
1/2 c soda cracker crumbs
Paprika

Directions:

Unroll crescent dough and place in an ungreased 9-inch square or 12×8-inch (2 qt.) baking dish. Press over bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides to form a crust. In small mixing bowl, combine beaten eggs with Parmesan cheese. Spread half of egg-cheese mixture over crust. Set aside remaining mixture for topping.

In large mixing bowl, combine salad dressing, hard cooked eggs, tuna, peas, and cottage cheese; mix well. Spoon mixture into crust; spread evenly. Top with cheese slices. Spread remaining egg-cheese mixture over cheese slices. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs and paprika.

Bake at 400*F for 20-30 minutes until light golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Shrimp Sandwich Roll

Shrimp Sandwich Roll

A Recipe from …from the 18th annual Bake-Off Bake-Off Cook Book (1967)

About the Recipe

I couldn’t resist the urge to make this weird savory roll, and while it was a lot of fun, I probably won’t make it again. I’m not sure how the original maker got that wonderful pink color in hers, but in modern times we are less generous with the Red 5 food dye.

Also an interesting challenge – pimento cheese spread is no longer at the popularity level that it had been in the ’60’s. My only option was a fancy pimento cheese spread with actual shreds of cheese in it. It did the trick, but was a bit more challenging to spread.

Full disclosure – I redacted a word from the title of this dish. While it may have been socially acceptable in 1967, it’s not acceptable now.

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

There are some lovely illustrations in this book. I find it interesting how focused it is on the family matriarch still being the leader in taking care of the home and cooking the meals. In this illustration inside of the front cover, this mom has a full on outfit change from going out in the day and being with her husband at home. Such an interesting lens from which to view the world.

About the glassware

I had intended to use a different platter for this dish… but then there’s that moment when you roll up your dish and say “honey, grab the platter, quick!” and you end up with your Butterfly Gold Corelle. Oh well!

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

5 eggs, separated
1/2 t cream of tartar
2 T sugar
1/4 c water
3/4 c flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 t parsley flakes
10 large stuffed green olives
5 oz. jar pasteurized process cheese spread with pimiento

Filling:
2 4.5 oz. cans shrimp, drained
8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 T lemon juice
1/2 c chopped pecans
1/2 c crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 c (5 oz. can) water chestnuts, drained and sliced
1/2 t salt

Directions:

Grease bottom of 15×10 inch jelly roll pan, line with waxed paper and grease again. Beat egg whites with cream of tartar in large mixer bowl at high speed of mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar; continue beating until stiff but not dry.

Combine all remaining ingredients except olives and cheese spread in small mixer bowl. Mix at low speed just until blended. By hand, fold egg yolk mixture in to egg whites. Spread in pan. Bake at 400*F for 10-12 minutes. Invert onto wire rack; remove waxed paper. Spread with Filling. Place olives along one 10-inch side. Roll up jelly roll fashion. Spread with cheese spread. Refrigerate.

Filling:
Combine all ingredients in large mixer bowl. Mix just until blended.

Down East Crabmeat Pie

Down East Crabmeat Pie

A Recipe from 100 Prize Winning Recipes from Pillsbury’s 4th Grand National Recipe & Baking Contest (1953)

About the Recipe

What an absolutely delightful way to kickoff my Pillsbury Challenge. This recipe was a bit like eating a crab cake pie. It made me think of afternoons picking crabs and drinking beer in the Baltimore Inner Harbor – basically a perfect afternoon.

It took some looking around to find the right “chili sauce” which nowadays means any sauce made from a chili and can range from sriracha to habanero sauce to regular old Heinz. Research notes that in the ’50s this would have been a plain old jar of Heinz so that’s what I went with. Quick note here – I would definitely sub out half of the plain chili sauce for something a little bit more spicy and exciting to give it more of a kick. While this pie is far from bland, it would be served well by a little something extra.

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

Published in 1953 for Pillsbury’s 4th Grand National contest, this book was one of my first, and is still one of my favorites. The recipes are so indicative of the time – lots of “pre-bake” or “freeze for later” notes from the cooks. If you ever see one of these books in the wild, grab it. You won’t be sorry.

About the glassware

Unfortunately, this pie pan is a fraud – a modern pan to accommodate a large pie. With the pandemic, I’m separated from my vintage pie pans, but this one is still lovely and was a gift from a close friend.

The Recipe!

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1/2 t salt
1/3 cup Homogenized Spry (Crisco)
3-4 T water
2 cups (two 6.5 oz cans) crabmeat or other seafood
2/3 cup chili sauce
1/2 cup cooked green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup cooked celery, chopped
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t grated onion

For the Cheese Sauce:
3 T butter or margarine
3 T flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated processed cheese

Directions:

Sift together the flour and salt. Cut in the Spry until particles are the size of small peas. Sprinkle water over mixture, tossing lightly with fork until dough is moist enough to hold together. Form into a ball.

Roll out on floured pastry cloth or board to a circle 1 1/2 inches larger than inverted 9-inch pie pan. Fit pastry loosely into pie pan. Fold edge to form standing rim; flute. Prick crust with fork. Bake in hot oven (450*F) for 10 minutes.

Combine crabmeat, chili sauce, green pepper, celery, salt, and onion. Blend well. Turn into partially-baked pie shell. Pour cheese sauce on top. Bake in moderately hot oven (400*F) for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve hot.

CHEESE SAUCE:
Melt butter or margarine in top of double boiler over boiling water. Blend in flour, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and milk. Cook until mixture begins to thicken, stirring constantly. Blend in processed cheese.