TV series inspires new cookbook that will bring chicken livers to their fomer glory
Wednesday 09 March 2011
The TV series
Mad Men has exhumed full skirts, cinched waists and skinny ties from the fashion graveyard. Now, it's resurrecting canapés, canned condensed soup and mid-afternoon office martinis.
The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, due to launch next winter, is set to bring back retro foods and dishes that were considered the height of gastronomy in the 1960s - and long condemned as outdated by contemporary chefs.
The cookbook, which is being penned by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin, is described as a guide to the food and drink featured on the TV series. Rights to the book have been sold to boutique publishing house BenBella Books.
Remember Betty Draper's thematic "Trip around the world" dinner party? The cookbook is said to recreate the menu that included gazpacho from Spain and Heineken beer from Holland - post-dinner meltdown and marital problems not included. The book will also offer entertaining tips circa 1960s and how to concoct old-time favorites.
The award-winning series has garnered a cult following worldwide for its depiction of Madison Avenue ad executives in a bygone era, and centers around the double life of Don Draper.
In the background of business wheeling and dealings, domestic rifts, and torrid affairs, retro food and drinks play a supporting role in the storyline putting viewers square in the decade. For example, the ad executives of the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Advertising Agency often opt for liquid lunches of vodka gimlets, martinis, scotch or whiskey.
Stunning but miserable housewife Betty, meanwhile, gets help from another 1960s domestic icon, Betty Crocker to make rumakis: chicken livers and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon and basted with "oriental sauce," the "oriental" component of her dinner party around the world.
And then there's Pete Campbell's onion dip, a novel idea at the time that included sour cream with "little pieces of brown onion."
It's not the first time a cookbook has been inspired by a TV series. Mafia drama The Sopranos, spawned The Sopranos Family Cookbook, while the show Desperate Housewives saw the release of The Desperate Housewives Cookbook.
To recreate your own Mad Men-themed party, several websites offer entertaining tips and recipes that bring 1960s classics like Beef Wellington, Baked Alaska and Waldorf Salad back from the culinary underground.
Visit Epicurious.com for Mad Men-inspired cocktails like Mai Tais, Mint Juleps and old school steak accompaniment, creamed spinach.
Allrecipes.com also features a "TV Dinners" site where members post recipes for Beef Wellington and Oysters Rockefeller
And the official Mad Men site lists a cocktail guide with retro favorites like Blue Hawaiian, Manhattans, and the White Russian.
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