The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook takes a peek inside the enchanting lives of the characters portrayed on AMC’s Mad Men and the food that the Drapers (et al.) would have enjoyed in the sixties. This cookbook will give you a guide to all the food they ate, the drinks they consumed, and the places they frequented. If you are a Mad Men fan, or you are in love with this era, then this is a great cookbook to add next to your shelf of Mad Men DVD’s.
Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin give an authentic story behind a selected episode accompanied by interviews with restaurant owners who suggested the types of food that Don Draper or Pete Campbell ate at the glamorous restaurants, including the Grand Central Oyster Bar and Barbetta Restaurant near Times Square. They have given us both original recipes and recipes they have adapted to suit a modern cooking style.
The cookbook is divided into 5 simple categories, reminiscent of a restaurant menu, including cocktails, appetizers, salads, main courses, desserts and sweets. It is an easy-to-follow guide that not only gives you the recipes, but also references characters or relevant show locations. It also gives a little history lesson on the food itself. For instance, the Beef Wellington was a favorite of the Kennedys.
Each drink and dish starts off with its title and a reference to a specific episode in which the drink, dish, or restaurant, was featured. You can always go back to watch that specific episode where Don Draper and Peggy Olson are chatting at a bar where she sips a classic Manhattan.
The recipes itself are very easy to follow. The pages are clean, easy to read, and color coded! The list of ingredients is not very long and can all be found at your local grocery store. And the authors don’t hesitate to give tips for a simple cooking method (eg. an option of using readymade pastries). This book is perfect for any Mad Men fan who is an expert in the kitchen or a novice trying to host a dinner party for friends.
If you just stick to one dish from each of the 5 categories, you would be able to put together a dinner party in no time. Start the night off with French 75 and bring out the small appetizers, such as Deviled Eggs and Blini and Caviar (recipe below). Then you can bring out the Waldorf Salad, Beef Wellington, and Fettucine Alfredo. For dessert, finish with a classic Apricot Apple Pie.
Are you ready to host your very own Mad Men party, or cook a Betty Draper-inspired meal? Then this book is a must-have!
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Julie Sophonpanich is a senior at Brown University where she concentrates in History of Art and Architecture. She enjoys taking breaks from writing her senior thesis to cook, bake, and entertain friends. She loves strolling through grocery stores and traveling to sample delicious cuisine.
Sterling Cooper Blini and Caviar
From The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook
½ cup sifted all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup milk
½ teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons sour cream, plus additional for topping blini
Butter for frying
Caviar for topping
In a large bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together. Add the milk, sugar, and sour cream. Beat the egg until frothy, add to the batter, and stir well. Let batter stand for 20 minutes
Melt butter on a griddle or large skillet. Fry small (2-3 inch) pancakes in very hot butter. Drain on paper towels. Top each blini with additional sour cream and caviar before serving.