Bijou Follies 30s Recipes

Culinary Cruise pt.2
(continued)
end, you will find little to interest you here; for, even on the food subject, this enterprising young Irishman refuses to keep to the beaten track of familiar mediocrity. If you like novelty - foods that are different - flavors and combinations that are unusual; if your family is the kind to welcome a change with appreciative cheers, then here is a golden opportunity to add something new in the line of recipes to your collection. However, at the very outset, I think I should assure you that none of these dishes described to me in detail by Mr. Flynn will require a trip to the many countries he has visited in order to lay in your own supplies. Though each dish Errol recommended originated in some foreign land, the ingredients that go into their making can be purchased at a point no more distant than your own corner grocery.
Let's see, then, what 'different' foods he has to suggest. Foods that will take us on a cruise around the world and land us finally in Hollywood, where we'll end up by ordering - at Mr.Flynn's suggestion - a Mexican Tamale Loaf with a tasty Spanish Sauce as a final salute to the chefs of other nations. Let's enjoy our culinary voyage with our fascinating guide, following a route he traced for us on the tablecloth and stopping off at each place just long enough to collect a recipe for one of the outstanding examples of that particular country's achievement in the line of distinctive foods.

Our first stop will be France - justly famous for all its cooking - and from whose unlimited sources of recipe material we cull two outstanding ideas for preparing vegetables in new ways. The first is French Devilled Tomatoes with a sauce such as the French excel in making and which gives distinction to what would be, ordinarily, just another platter of fried tomatoes. I'm also going to give you another recipe. I'll bet any man who tastes asparagus fixed in this fashion will add his cheers to Errol's, whose description of this dish made me ask if I might get more specific directions from his cook. A permission cheerfully granted and soon taken advantage of with the following recipes to offer as a result.

FRENCH DEVILLED TOMATOES
Use green or slightly under-ripe tomatoes. Slice them, without peeling, into half-inch slices, crosswise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fry slices in butter in heavy frying pan until slightly browned on one side. Turn carefully and fry on the other side until browned and tender. Remove slices carefully, without breaking and arrange on hot platter. Serve with the following Mustard Sauce.

MUSTARD SAUCE
yolk of 1 hard-cooked egg
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
a pinch of salt
a dash of pepper
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 egg, beaten
While yolk of hard-cooked egg is still hot, rub it to a paste with the butter. Add remaining ingredients in order given. Cook mixture over boiling water until it thickens to a soft custard consistency, stirring constantly. Pour mixture over cooked tomato slices
and serve immediately, garnished with sprigs of parsley or watercress.
FRENCH FRIED ASPARAGUS
cooked asparagus tips, fresh or canned
salt, pepper
fine bread crumbs
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 tablespoons milk
deep pan of oil for frying
Drain asparagus thoroughly. Sprinkle asparagus with salt and pepper. Roll, one stalk at a time, in fine bread crumbs. Dip each in slightly beaten egg mixed with milk, then roll in crumbs again. Fry in deep, hot oil (olive or salad oil) only long enough to brown the crumb coating. Remove stalks carefully from oil and drain on paper towels. Serve piping hot.

Mr. Flynn's cook suggested serving Hollandaise sauce with this vegetable dish, however I found that a sauce was superfluous because asparagus prepared in this manner is quite distinctive enough in itself without need for further embellishment.
Our next port of call is England where they turn out, says Errol, a delicious dish composed of the most incredible combination of ingredients and justly named "English Jumble Pie". This is a main course, not a dessert feature, since it contains a large proportion of meat and eggs, as well as apples. All meat pies, according to Errol, are pretty special - with this particular variety well at the head of the procession. In fact, all Englishmen grow lyric in its praise and even our adventurous Irishman admitted that his country's most famous dish, Irish Stew, cannot compare with it.

With an utter disregard of time and space we next fly on over to Russia for Meat Stuffed Cabbage and drop down into Germany for good old Apple Strudel. Incidentally, Errol is particularly fond of most Russian and German dishes and thinks pumpernickel with sweet butter is pretty choice and Blinis with Sour Cream and Caviar the perfect beginning for a formal dinner.
Our next hop is a long one since we must travel from Europe to Bombay where Curry of Bombay Duck is Errol's idea of "something swell."
Not would I wish to suggest for us stay-at-homes such things as sharks' fins and sea slugs which are considered great delicacies in the Far East and which this amazing Flynn fellow has not only eaten but has also caught and sold during one phase of his adventurous career!
Once again our magic carpet moves on and we approach the Western Hemisphere in a long-distance hop that would make the China Clipper envious. And so we reach Havana to partake of a baked fish combination that staggers the imagination of such conservative cooks as myself; that is, until I had tried it and then I was not only convinced but enthusiastic. Fish with bananas, pimientos and green peppers - think of that! But don't just think about it; try it. Here's the recipe, vouched for by Mr. Flynn and given to you with the unqualified endorsement of your Modern Hostess.

BAKED FISH HAVANAISE
Use any large, mild fish (Sea Bass tested successfully)
It should weigh approximately 3 1/2 pounds
after removing head, fins and scales.
3 1/2 pounds fish
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 green peppers, chopped fine
2 tablespoons butter
salt, pepper
juice of one lemon
3 ripe bananas
2 pimientos
Split the fish in two down the back, after removing head, fins and scales. Remove backbone and place fish in oiled baking pan. Season fish liberally with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with juice of half a lemon and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a saucepan, add finely chopped green peppers and cook until peppers are soft, stirring to prevent burning. Add butter to peppers and mash together into a pulp in a wooden bowl using a potato masher. Press pulp through a sieve then spread it over the fish. Cover entire fish in lengthwise rows of thinly-sliced bananas. Spread the pimientos, cut into thin strips, over the fruit, crosswise. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon. Cover all with brown paper greased on both sides and bake in moderate oven (375 F.) 45 minutes, basting occasionally. Remove carefully to a hot platter, garnish with parsley and lemon slices and serve immediately.

This has been a comparatively short journey, when you think how far we've traveled. Here we are back in Hollywood, seated once more at a luncheon table within a few feet of the sound stages. On the plate before me is the Mexican Tamale Loaf with the rich sauce whose flavor denotes a Spanish inspiration. On the tablecloth are strange pencil markings indicating in the sketchiest form the interesting imaginary journey we have just made. And opposite me is Errol Flynn, a far-away look in his eyes as though he were already visualizing the next journey of adventure and the next unusual repast under distant, and probably tropical, skies. As a parting tribute to Mr. Flynn's good taste and as a proof of his high standing as a gourmet, I want to give you his "Favorite Menu" just as he outlined it to me.

DINNER DE LUXE
Blinis with Caviar and Sour Cream
Turtle Soup with Sherry and Wafers
Baked Fish Havanaise
Quail on Toast with Fresh Mushrooms
French Fried Asparagus, Artichoke Saute
Endive and Beet Salad
Crepes Suzette
Demi-tasse                                                Napoleon Brandy

30s Features ~ Bijou Menu