Welcome to “Cooking Through the Decades,” a 10-week journey through the 20th century, where you can let our revamped retro recipes take you back through history. Cook along with us for a chance to win cookbooks and an America’s Test Kitchen apron autographed by Bridget Lancaster.
SETTING THE SCENE: THE 1970S
Welcome to the Age of Aquarius, of Alices and restaurants. During this decade, lifestyle reaches the status of a section in the newspaper, of a something to believe in, in macrobiotics and meatless ‘isms.’ A landmark cookbook can be birthed from a Zen Center and political activists gather around the table for gigot d’agneau. Activism is edible; we make statements with what we do and do not eat. Underneath the whir of the electric mixer and the low growl of the microwave oven, Tom Wolfe hears “the mightiest, holiest roll of all, the beat that goes . . . Me . . . Me . . . . Me . . . Me …” In the 1970s, we dare. We dare to eat arugula and goat cheese, quiche at weekend brunch, authentic Italian food and extra-virgin olive oil. You don’t know what that is? You can buy it at Dean & DeLuca, the newly opened artisanal market in SoHo that gives prepared food a place among fine art. Regional cuisine is nothing new, but this type of American food is revolutionary, progressive, nouvelle.
THIS WEEK’S RECIPE: HERBED BAKED GOAT CHEESE SALAD
When Laura Chenel, the first commercial producer of domestic goat cheese, initially tried to market her “crottins” (discs of goat cheese that unappetizingly translate to “little turds”), most people turned and ran from her outstretched, sample-laden hand. Once they tasted the creamy tang, they changed their tune, but Alice Waters, owner of Chez Panisse, the groundbreaking, seasonal restaurant in Berkeley, was an early convert. This salad is similar to one served regularly at Chez Panisse. Despite the restaurant’s ever-changing chefs and her primary role as front-of-house, vintage-clad problem-solver, goat cheese salad was Alice’s signature. Foreign cuisine turned homegrown embodied the energy of the food revolution, and it is a spirit whose season has not yet ended.
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
Cook Like It’s 1977! Except you don’t have to pluck the herbs from your aging hippie neighbor’s backyard…
Make this revolutionarily refreshing recipe and send us a picture of you with the dish (or if you’re shy, just the dish is ok too)! Email it to email@example.com, with the subject line “1977.” Be sure to include your name, mailing address, and blog or Twitter URL. Also, feel free to include a few lines about your experiences with this dish or decade.
Deadline: Tuesday, August 21 at 9pm E.T.
As we get closer to the millenium, the stakes are getting higher! In addition to an America’s Test Kitchen apron autographed by Bridget Lancaster, the two lucky winners will receive pre-release copies of The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook (to be released this fall) even before it hits bookstore shelves!
Images from Vintage Ad Browser.