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January 20, 2010

Mid-Century Menu – Mexican Macaroni Casserole

 Welcome to another Mid-Century Menu!!  This week we are cooking out of a kind of fun little cookbook I found while on vacation this summer.  It is Prize Winning Recipes (made better with American Beauty Macaroni Products) or Institutional Cooking At Home.  Just kidding about the last one guys. Kind of.

Anyway, this cookbook was put out in 1960 by the Duram Wheat Institute to encourage people to eat more macaroni products.  And with recipes from places like Miss Hulling’s Cafeterias, Inc., Pennant Cafeteria, Department of Institute Management at Purdue University, Detroit Public Schools and Evanston Hospital, how can you go wrong?  I mean, really?????

So, if you miss all those meals from when you were in the hospital, your wife can make them for you at home, too! Yipes.

Anyway, here is the choice for the week.  And it is a fun one.

Wow.  Two cups of sour cream.  Two. Cups. CUPS!! And a tablespoon of chili powder. Delicious.

And I was off.

Lots of sour cream and lots of tomatoes.  Doesn’t look too bad.

Sausage, onions and green peppers in the skillet.

The sausage, cooked and crumbled.

Tons of sour cream and canned tomatoes.  At this point, I realized that the dinner was actually a jumped up version of hamburger helper. 

So much sour cream.  I can’t get over it.   Anyway, here are the noodles on top of the tomato sour cream mixture.

And here it is with the noodles stirred in.  Doesn’t actually look that bad.

All done!  Actually, it smelled pretty good at this point. It does, however, totally look like cafeteria food. No lie.

Tom taking his first bite.

“So? How is it?”

“It’s pretty good! Kind of tastes like bolognese sauce. With a whole lot of chili powder in it.”

I took a bite.  It did kind of taste like a pasta sauce with chili powder in it, and a lot like hamburger helper. And it was really sweet.

The verdict:  Okay.

If I was going to make this again, which I might, I would leave out half of the sour cream, most of the sugar and add in some mexican spices or a packet of taco seasoning rather than just a tablespoon of chili powder.  But overall, okay. It was totally cafeteria food!

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10 Responses to Mid-Century Menu – Mexican Macaroni Casserole

  1. Sara In Az Reply

    January 20, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Hooray for an OK meal – I think? 🙂 At least it did not taste too awfully bad! That really is A LOT of sour cream!!!

  2. Annie B. Reply

    January 20, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    I think I would actually like this! I, too, would reduce the amount of sour cream. Might be fun to serve this “cafeteria” meal on some thick, vintage Texas Ware plastic dinner plates!
    (Is this a “new” Tom??)

  3. Paulette Reply

    January 20, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I like how a tablespoon of chili powder made it “Mexican.” 🙂 That is a whole lot of sour cream. It looks fairly good though.

  4. sablemable Reply

    January 20, 2010 at 9:25 pm

    LOL@ Tom’s comment on bolognese sauce!!!!

    At first I thought this would turn out great, but, 2 cups of sour cream and a tablespoon of chili powder made me gasp!

    If I made this, I would chuck the sour cream altogether and maybe add some oregano to it. I’d cut the chili powder to maybe a teaspoon or to taste. No sugar either.

  5. Jason Reply

    January 22, 2010 at 12:58 am

    You said the book has recipes from “Miss Hullings Cafeteria”…if there’s a recipe for Sour Cream Noodle Bake in there–Make it! Very simple and retro but guarnteed no leftovers with this one. (It’s also in the Ford Treasury cookbook–60’s vintage!)

  6. Kirk Reply

    January 26, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    I just discovered this site and I’m hooked. I laugh my fanny off at the Mid-Century Menu section. As I’m reading, all I can think of is what if. . .

    What if Julie & Julia were from a trailer park?

    Way too funny!

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  8. RetroRuth Reply

    January 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    Jason – the Sour Cream noodle bake isn’t in there! Do you have a copy of it? I would love a scan! I will keep my eye out for the Ford Treasury.

    Thanks, Kirk! That is the sweetest thing to say, and I love Julie & Julia! 🙂

    You are right about the sugar Sable. It was waaaaaay too sweet!!

  9. Beth Reply

    February 5, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    There are recipes in there from Tony Bommarito. He owns Tony’s, which is the only 5 star restaurant in St Louis. Try one of those. And post a scan of those! Hopefully they are not scary institutional food!

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