When Mad Men returns on Sunday, you can't possibly watch all the subtext and strained silences on an empty stomach! We got our hands on a copy of Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin's totally unauthorized Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, and picked an era-appropriate drink, entree and a dessert for some stick-to-your-ribs sustenance. Get the matches, light the stove, chill your glasses. Your menu's right here.
Excerpted from the book with permission.
Season 1, Episode 1
"Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
Mad Men opens in a smoky bar, with Don Draper making notes on a napkin, an empty cocktail glass on the table. He's jotting down ideas for promoting Lucky Strike cigarettes, one of Sterling Cooper's most important clients. When the waiter asks if he'd like another drink, he replies, "Yeah, do this again. Old Fashioned, please."
An Old Fashioned: it's the very first food or beverage mentioned in Mad Men, and this popular cocktail makes many appearances in the series.
There is no absolutely definitive Old Fashioned recipe, but we wanted to provide the Old Fashioned as Don liked it, with his "beloved rye," as Roger once described it (season 1, episode 7; "Red in the Face"), and think the Grand Central Oyster Bar hit the oyster on the shell, so to speak, with this one.
Old Fashioned courtesy of The Grand Central Oyster Bar, New York, New York
Note: Bourbon or rye may be used in the Old Fashioned. Rye was originally used, and The Grand Central Oyster Bar is starting to use rye again in these drinks; they use Michters', but Don would likely choose Canadian Club, the brand we often see in his office and home. Seagrams V.O. and Crown Royal were also popular in the 1960s, says Jonathan Rogers of The Grand Central Oyster Bar.
1 orange slice
1 maraschino cherry
1 teaspoon sugar
Few drops of Angostura bitters
A splash of soda water to muddle ingredients
2 ½ ounces rye or bourbon
In a mixing glass, muddle orange slice, cherry, sugar, bitters and a little soda water: using a muddler, push around and break up cherry and orange until flavor is released. Add soda water so cherry is wet and sugar is melted. Add bourbon or rye and serve over rocks, if desired.
Yield: 1 drink
Season 1, Episode 3
"Marriage of Figaro"
One day the recently wed Pete Campbell gets a call at the office from Trudy, his eager-to-please new bride, who asks what he'd like for dinner. "Rib eye, in the pan, with butter," he replies. "Ice cream." When he hangs up he turns to Harry Crane as if he's had a revelation about the benefits of married life: "There's going to be dinner waiting for me when I get home," he says, sounding deeply satisfied. It's as if someone has just shown him the latest marvel from a clever inventor.
Adapted from The Madison Avenue Cookbook (Holt, Rinehart and Winston,
Steak (Rib eye, Porter house or sirloin at least 1 1/4 inches thick, approximately ¾ pound) at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce Cognac
2 tablespoons butter
1. Preheat oven to 500°F. Place cast iron skillet in oven. Coat steak lightly with oil.
2. Spread ground pepper on a plate. Press the steak onto the pepper, and then lift it up and put it down again several times, until the steak is covered with all the pepper it will hold. Turn steak and press pepper firmly into meat with the heel of your hand. Apply pepper the same way on the other side.
3. Heat burner on stove to high heat. Remove skillet from oven and transfer to stove. Place steak in middle of pan and cook for 30 second without moving. Turn and cook another 30 seconds, and then place skillet in the oven for two minutes. Flip steak and cook another 2 minutes (3 minutes per side for medium rare).
4. Remove steak from pan. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 2 minutes.
5. While steak is resting, pour cognac into pan. Stir into the juices in pan. Add butter and stir. Pour sauce over steak and serve.
Yield: 1-2 servings
Adapted from The Complete Electric Skillet Frypan Cookbook by Roberta Ames
(Heartside Press, 1960)
NOTE: We have adapted this recipe for a cast-iron skillet.
For the topping
5 tablespoons butter
³⁄₄ cup brown sugar
7–8 canned pineapple slices (reserve syrup)
Pecan halves, for decorating
Maraschino cherries, for decorating
For the cake
10 tablespoons butter
1¹⁄₂ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
¹⁄₂ cup buttermilk
¹⁄₄_cup syrup from pineapple can
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Line a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with aluminum foil, completely covering the bottom and sides and extending extra foil over edges of the pan. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Make the topping: Place butter in skillet, place skillet in oven, and melt butter. As soon as butter is melted, remove and stir in brown sugar, carefully mixing well with a rubber spatula so as not to tear foil. Arrange pineapple slices over butter/sugar spread. Place cherries in center of pineapple and pecans between the slices.
3. Make the batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, adding sugar gradually, and then add eggs and beat well. Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Combine buttermilk, syrup, and vanilla in a small measuring cup. Add flour mixture alternately with but-termilk/syrup mixture, beating well after each addition. Spread batter evenly across mixture in skillet.
4. Bake for approximately 45–50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Place a large cake plate over pan, and invert to remove. Peel off alumi-num foil, pressing back any pineapple that may be stuck to the foil.