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July 22, 2009

Mid-Century Menu – Sky High Braunschweiger Towers

Sunday Night Supper001Welcome, all! It is time for another Mid-Century Menu, the feature on my blog where I find the most unusual, strange, experimental or questionable recipe from my vintage cookbook collection, cook it up and serve it for dinner. Sometimes the results are pretty tasty, but most of the time they are pretty bad.

If you missed it, last week was a first in Mid-Century Menu history!  The feature about the None-Such Ham Loaf was published in the Midland Daily News Food Section, which was really, really exciting!  If you haven’t seen the newspaper article yet, head on over to their website and check it out!  Also, if you like what you read, please leave a rating on the page.  My continued contribution to the paper hinges on the popularity of the article!

In any case, the recipe this week comes from Sunday Night Suppers, a cookbook published in 1956 by the Culinary Arts Institute in Chicago. This book was done by the “Staff Home Economists” at the institute and it is different from other Mid-Century Menu books in that it isn’t complied by a corportation to sell a product. Which is a good thing, because it means they won’t have a product jumping through hoops into territory it isn’t supposed to go. Like sauerkraut in cake, or Squirt in coleslaw.

Oh wait…did I let the cat out of the bag for what is coming up this month?  🙂 Shh….don’t tell!

Anyway, for this week we decided to pick something fun that wouldn’t be too difficult to prepare.

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Sounds fun, right? I have always secretly liked braunschweiger, or liver sausage, in sandwiches since I have been a little kid.  It helped that I grew up in Fort Atkinson, the headquarters of Jones Dairy Farm, who always has amazing meat products. When I was little my mom used to give us smushy white bread smeared with liver sausage and mayo, and I always liked the taste, even if I didn’t dig the texture.  As I got older I discovered how to make the sandwiches with toast, then the fact that liver sausage could come sliced (no nasty smearing!), then, and this is the mother of them all, liver sausage tastes fantastic with cream cheese rather than mayo!

Since this recipe called for the liver sausage to be cooked, I was intrigued.  I had never had liver sausage cooked before, so it was a new one for me. I had high hopes for this one.

On with the show!

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All the ingredients assembled for…er…assembly. 🙂  Notice the giant chunk of meat next to the mustard.  That would be the liver sausage roll. Tom got a little excited when he went to the local meat market and just bought whatever they had left because he didn’t want to run out of meat.  Well, now there is no question of that!

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The slices of sausage down on the board and dosed with mustard.  I like the little dollops, so I took a picture before I spread it out.

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Here is a close-up of the mustard-spread liver sausage hunk so you can see properly secured bacon placement. It was stressed in the recipe that you want to secure the bacon. Wouldn’t want that bacon to take off and wreck up your kitchen. It has always been a trouble-maker.

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Securely wrapped liver sausage, all snuggly in the dish.

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Here I am adding some paprika on top of the carefully placed onion slices. Placement is crucial to assure a “sky-high” tower, and not one that just slides onto its side.

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Careful tomato placement.

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I forgot to butter the mushrooms before starting the recipe, so I am trying to quickly butter them here while stacking the towers. Tom was nice enough to take over photo duties for this one, because we were hungry and wanted to get it in the oven fast!

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Placing the buttered mushrooms on top of the tower.  It said in the recipe to use just mushroom caps, which I think would have given this a more balanced appearance, but I had portabellas, so that is what I used!

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The towers are secured with more toothpicks.

Tom was looking worriedly over my shoulder. “Make sure we get those all out before we start eating. I don’t want to get stabbed by a toothpick.”

I wasn’t too worried. There were more toothpicks in the Bologna Papooses, and that turned out just fine.

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I mixed up the horseradish butter while the towers were baking.  It smelled good, so I was excited. Out of the frame of this shot, Tom is toasting the hamburger buns.

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Voila! The finished towers!  Look at them towering….awwww…..

As a side note, I left them in the oven for abut 10 minutes longer than the recipe called for to make sure the bacon was cooked.  I can’t stand slimy bacon!

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Hubs taking the first bite of the tower.  And yes, all toothpicks had been safely removed.

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And here is a shot after a few bites. It was a success! The sandwiches, while being salty, were actually really good. They didn’t really taste overpoweringly of anything, except maybe the onion.  That was good, because I thought the mustard would be pretty strong, but it faded into the background and was a good compliment to the sandwich.  The liver sausage ended up tasting…cooked. Which wasn’t bad, it was just a different flavor than I was used to liver sausage having.

The Verdict:  Good!

I was pleased this one turned out so well.  Last week’s meal was a disappointment, so I was glad we could come out ahead on this one.   The only thing that we changed at the end was that we couldn’t handle the towers open-faced, so we slapped buns on the top and just ate them like sandwiches in the end. I only could eat one, but Tom put three away.

Oh, and if you don’t like liver sausage, you could probably use any thickly sliced sausage or lunch meat with this sandwich. If you make the recipe, don’t forget to take pictures and send them to me!

This post has been submitted to Colorado Lady’s Vintage Thingie Thursdays! Head over there to check out the vintage goodness!

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14 Responses to Mid-Century Menu – Sky High Braunschweiger Towers

  1. Two Barking Dogs Reply

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am

    Interesting! I like all of the ingredients separately, but never would have put them together like that.

    The recipe said “mushroom caps” … I was wondering why you sliced them up. Either way, thanks for being the guinea pig.

  2. sablemable Reply

    July 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    LOL @ toothpicks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bologna Sacks and Braunschweiger Stacks!

    I have always loved braunschweiger sandwiches. Mom used to cut it in thin slices and let us put whatever we wanted on them. I just liked mine on white bread with lettuce, nothing else, and I still eat them that way.

    I’ll have to try this w/o the mustard and mushrooms, but the onion and crispy bacon sound good.

    And TY for showing Tom’s facial expressions, Ruth!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Sara in AZ Reply

    July 22, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    That crazy bacon, you just never know what it will do! You have to keep that bacon in line! 🙂 I totally agree, I HATE slimy, mushy bacon – but I LOOOOOVE crispy, crunchy bacon! I am excited this one turned out so well for you, I may have to actually try this one myself (and maybe the bologna sacks too – he he). I will let you know if I do. The pics of Tom are super cool, he looks very pleased with your meal! YEA for the MCM meals on Wednesday – right Sable!

  4. RetroRuth Reply

    July 22, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Hey everyone – thanks for the comments!

    Two Barking Dogs – I bought them pre-sliced in the store. The button mushrooms were too small and all the baby bellas were slimy, so I went the the freshest looking thing they had! Sometimes it is hard getting all the specific ingredients. 🙂

    Sable – The mustard wasn’t bad, truly. And I ended up picking off the mushrooms anyway. 🙂 Glad you like the pics of Tom!

    Sara – We DO have to keep an eye on that bacon, it is crazy!

  5. sablemable Reply

    July 22, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    Yes, Sara! Yippee-skippee for Wednesday MCM Meals!!!!!!!

    Ruth, now I’m hungry for a braunschweiger sammie!

  6. Shay Reply

    July 22, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Good Grief! I have this cookbook! If I remember correctly, they add msg to almost everything.

  7. Dawn Reply

    July 23, 2009 at 1:43 am

    oh. my. goodness. I can’t believe y’all liked it, but the word liver just makes me a negative thinker! You’re brave! and fun! and brave!

  8. fitty Reply

    July 23, 2009 at 1:57 am

    wowwweeee.. you did great with the recipe! at least this time was a successful one!

  9. ros Atwood Reply

    July 23, 2009 at 2:03 am

    OMG you have the most “interesting” recipes-you are more brave than I am! But I think it’s a cute way to revisit the past-if you have the stomach for it.

  10. viridian61 Reply

    July 23, 2009 at 11:31 am

    Goodness! You and your husband are braver than me!

  11. Coloradolady Reply

    July 23, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Wow. Your husband is a real trooper….if I try anything out of the ordinary…it seems my husband immediately runs to the frig to see what he might eat in case he does not like the something new!! You are really lucky that your husband is such a willing participant.

    Have a great VTT and a wonderful weekend, I look forward to your post each week!

  12. Meem Reply

    July 24, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Okay, if I had tried to serve you hot liver sausage when you were a kid, well……….the crying would have started. Mostly by me I think. Anyway, that doesn’t look too bad, and you are right..Dad would love it.

  13. MidcenturyMarilyn Reply

    July 24, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    We ate braunschweiger as kids, always on white bread! I still like it now, bit on multigrain crackers with some colby-jack cheese. But I think I’m glad Mom didn’t have that cookbook! Looking forward to next week.

  14. shirleymac Reply

    July 25, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Oh my. I can feel my arteries clogging just reading the recipie. *LOL* I was looking at some of the others you posted previously. They sure liked salt in the 50’s didn’t they. If I remember correctly I think we even dipped celery sticks in salt. Now I’m on a salt restricted diet and boy do salty things taste salty! I looked at some of your other posts. Loved the Sunbeam ads.

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