The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men (Anglais) Broché – 22 décembre 2011
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The UMMC is essentially a "retro" cookbook, bringing us back to the cooking and recipes of the early 1960s, which for some of us is a certain kind of comfort food: an era of upside-down pineapple cakes and Swedish meatballs and rumaki. Every recipe is presented in the context of a specific episode (the chocolate cake Sally makes for the dinner served in "Red in the Face," Season 1 Episode 7, when Don brings home Roger for dinner without warning Betty), and then some history about the dish (okay, less so about cocoa fudge cake, but the book discusses when Mai Tais came to be for instance), and then a 1960s-vintage recipe (this cake is adapted from the Betty Crocker's New Boys and Girls Cookbook from 1965). Some are "home cooking," like turkey tetrazzini; others are food eaten or mentioned at the restaurants where the characters eat, such as two versions of the Waldorf salad or oysters as they'd be served at the Grand Central Oyster Bar in 1961.
It isn't all "find cool old cookbooks." The authors went to quite some lengths for authenticity, learning that the yellow drink that Pete Campbell drinks at the Beverly Hills Hotel is a Royal Hawaiian, which was fashionable in the 50s and 60s but hasn't been served for decades -- and the hotel provided the recipe. (It has rum, pineapple juice, papaya juice, Myer's dark rum, a maraschino cherry, and a slice of fresh pineapple). As you'd expect, the UMMC has a lot of cocktails, but it also has appetizers (such as a classic shrimp cocktail); salads (Carla's potato salad); main courses (Lutece Gamabas au Beurre d'Escargot, Sal's spaghetti and meatballs); and desserts and sweets. Unlike some retro cookbooks which make me glad we grew up, these are all really good recipes, or at least "really good" in the context of the 60s (which means that you think fondly of turkey tetrazzini, I guess).
If you care about the show at all, you'll enjoy the food-meets-episode reminders. Even if you don't, you'll be tempted to throw a Mad Men dinner. I know *I* am thinking of doing so!
An aside: If you like this kind of "retro" cookbook but don't want the Mad Men baggage (and if you didn't care for the show I imagine it could get tiresome) you ought to check out Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes, which scratches much of the same itch. Schwartz's book is more all-encompassing (such as a history of and recipes from Delmonico's, an influential restaurant that hasn't been mentioned on Mad Men), so if you want the "New York" ingredients more than "This is what mom cooked for me!" that may be a better choice.
I expected this to be a bit of fluff. To my surprise, I discovered a really nice cookbook that will spend quite a bit of time on my kitchen counter rather than on a shelf.