Anyone else remember the kiss that Dinah Shore ended every show with?
I was in front of our first television set the whole hour when Dinah Shore was live on NBC in the evening, beginning in 1951, and didn't miss many until her show ended in 1961. I think I knew every word of "See the USA in Your Chevrolet" that she sang during each show.
After all, Nashville claimed her since she moved here when she was in the 5th grade and went on to graduate from Vanderbilt University in 1938, the school's first Jewish cheerleader.
I remain a Dinah Shore fan and use her cookbook constantly. One of my favorite recipes is for her daughter Melissa's Cauliflower Cheese Pie. I'm not crazy about cauliflower, folks. I'm a potato lover. But this pie has a potato crust.
I made two of these pies on July 4th, using goat cheese and lactose free milk for RH's, so I almost doubled Dinah's recipe.
First I went to my pots of herbs on the kitchen porch and picked a big bunch of herbs, basil, parsley and thyme. Washed them and the cauliflower.
Then grated a pile of peeled russet potatoes. I don't have room on my kitchen counters to keep my food processor out now so decided to do these by hand, only took about 20 minutes.
Put them in a colander to let moisture drip out while preparing the vegetables.
Chop an onion for the filling and grate an extra 1/4th cup of onion to add to the potatoes for the crust.
Melt butter in a skillet and add the chopped onion to cook while you cut the cauliflower in small florets. Mince a clove or two of garlic and chop your herbs.
Add the cauliflower, garlic and herbs to the onions.
Add salt and fresh ground black pepper if you wish--I do. Cauliflower is bland and needs seasoning. Cook the cauliflower mixture, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Oil or grease a 9" pie pan. Add about 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the potatoes and grated onion in a bowl, stir in 1 egg, beaten.
Then build your potato crust with your fingers, pressing up along side of pie pan as well as the bottom. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake about 40 minutes, I got my small one too brown. It does have to cook again later and will brown more then.
Mix your custard: 2 eggs, beaten and 1/4 cup milk, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Spread about 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese in bottom of crust, pour the cooked cauliflower mix on top of the cheese, top with about 3/4 cup more grated cheese on top.
Then pour the custard on top of that and dust with paprika.
That last picture was terrible but the Cauliflower Cheese Pie was delicious!
What other recipes are favorites of mine from The Dinah Shore Cookbook?
A to-die-for Salmon Mousse on Molded Cucumber Salad
Sea Sandwiches that take tuna fish out of the ordinary
Toad in the Hole
Broccoli Rice Casserole
Picadillo with Rice and Black Beans
Spanish Rice, I could make a meal on this
Breads, breads, breads and a sourdough recipe almost as good as Mama's
Desserts, desserts, desserts
In addition to great recipes, there are little tidbits about her friends,
like Telly. Do you remember Telly Savalas? "Who loves ya, baby?"
I loved Telly and his family recipe for Avgolemono is in this cookbook,
pure comfort food.
I sometimes wonder about the label "comfort food." I mean, shouldn't all food be comfort food. If any food is not comfort food I think we need to find a way to make it better.
A salad can be made awesome enough to be comfort food.
Even bran muffins can be comfort food--put streusel topping on it, for pete's sake!
Should food be a chore to eat? What do you say? I say heaven forbid!