April 15, 2009Mid-Century Menu: Tropical Meat Salad. Oh Yes.
Welcome to the weekly Mid-Century Menu, where my adventurous husband and I cook and eat an “interesting” recipe we find in my collection of vintage cookbooks.
Sorry for the lack of enthusiasm, but last night’s dinner was…interesting to say the least. I think it has ruined my love affair with pineapple. We eat tons of pineapple in this house, and drink mostly pineapple orange juice, but this morning when I saw there was leftover pineapple in the fridge, I bypassed it for a bunch of grapes instead. A first for me.
And Tropical Meat Salad is to blame.
The recipe for this nastiness came from Meat Recipes for the Family “Chef” published by the fine people at the National Livestock and Meat Board (Sounds delicious!). Chef, of course, being in parenthesis because, really, what woman could ever be a real chef? (Insert derogative masculine laughter here.)
Well, no one is going to be a chef using recipes like these. But I digress.
Here is a black and white picture from the cookbook showing us how fantastic this recipe could be if you really wanted it to. There is also a complete menu, which I found to be really interesting pairings with a salad. Potato chips? Strawberry Shortcake? Oookayyy….
Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the menu suggestions until we were actually making the recipe. Next time I will be sure to use the whole menu, and not just the main course. And we will be cooking out of this book again, trust me.
While we were prepping the salad, Hubs and I were discussing where the inspiration for this recipe probably came from. We decided that one of the big shots from the Livestock Board, probably when on vacation in the tropics, had a salad with roast pig, fresh pineapple and plantains. He liked it so much that when he came home and he tried to explain it to his wife, waving his arms and saying, “I am pretty sure it had bananas in it.” And his “chef”, rolling her eyes, threw a bunch of stuff together in a bowl, covered it with mayonnaise (because everything tastes better with mayo) and served it to him. And here is the result.
Ok, first of all: Bananas? BANANAS!?!?! With mustard and mayo. Yeah, that sounds good. I can understand ham (not lamb, blech!) celery, mustard and mayo. I can even let the pineapple go. But bananas. Yuck.
But, as always, Hubs was game, so off we went. The ingredients prepped and ready to go. I could have used that ham for soup, but oh no. I had to do this with it. Sigh. Bananas covered in celery. Yum.The ingredients all together. It took me a while to actually mix. I was using taking a picture as an excuse, but I was reluctant to actually take that last step.Ok, now we are mixed. It doesn’t look too bad in the picture, but in fact a strange thing had started happening to the bananas as soon as they met the mayo. They got this strange, slimy texture, and it didn’t go away. They started giving off some kind of goo that made the mayo stretch out in strings as I lifted up my spatula from the main salad mass, almost like melted cheese on a pizza. It was disgusting. Hubs was standing on the sidelines, laughing at my squeals of disgust.
The final salad, plated and ready to eat. We left out the olives and the walnuts. At this point it just would have been a waste. Hubs gleefully eating the result. You know, I am starting to think he is actually enjoying this.
The verdict: Terrible
Just like Eggs Oriental, this salad had something just wrong with it. The combination of bananas and mustard was terrible, and every time I put a bite in my mouth I was reminded about just how horrible it was. The salad itself would have been fine without the bananas, but their addition made it a Mid-Century Horror. The bananas began turning the salad into mush from the moment I mixed it together, until became almost like eating oatmeal with ham chunks in it. And it all combined to leave a taste in my mouth that lasted for an hour after we had finished eating.
But Hubs was starving, so:
All clean. He looked a little sick when he was finished, but he ate it. I wonder what is going to happen when Hubs isn’t training for a race….
This post is in Food on Fridays! Click the button to see the lastest party!
This post has also been submitted to Balancing Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesdays party. Although I don’t know if this qualifies as tasty!