Utz Happening, Groovy~Boozy Mad Men ­Drinks, & Dinner

Whiskey Sour & Bloody Shrimp Cocktail

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. Now I’m beginning to believe it.
—Clarence Darrow

Today’s food for thought, 60’s quote, perfect in an election year, also did you know?   “Dude” In the 60’s, a dude was a geek or a panty waist?

…A Fab retro menu for a fun weekend mini party was easy to plan and put together to celebrate the return of the wildly popular Mad Men Series. Whiskey Sours, Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail, Rib Eye Steak and Iceberg Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing, what fun and so easy.

We often have appetizer (Hors d’oeuvre) nights so I now have a list of 60’s popular appetizers to reintroduce, some sound pretty outrageous, meatballs/mustard/grape jelly for one, not sure I can wrap my culinary brain around that, but others never went away and adorn our grocery store cases today.  Cheese balls for one, popular pigs in a blanket and fondue reappear often, so I look forward to trying a few new old things…I’ve never made pigs in a blanket and I’m thinking that James Beard’s earliest books would be a great source for retro and other fantastic party foods.  Again, I head to the Food Timeline for an education in retro foods. 

Great cocktails listed on the AMC site… http://www.amctv.com/shows/mad-men/cocktail-guide

It was a fine spring night to sit out and enjoy a homemade whiskey sour and a really good Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail before moving on to a late dinner of “Trudy’s Rib Eye in the Pan with Cognac & Butter and a wedge salad with blue cheese dressing.  Pan frying a steak was something that I haven’t done with a thick cut rib eye, but I will make this recipe again because I love the simple pan sauce, I had to make cooking time adjustments for the steak.  I was going to make strawberry milkshake shooters, but it got too late and we were stuffed.   

We welcome back the women and men of “Mad Men”, AMC
Bloody Mary Shrimp Cocktail Sauce


1-2 pounds large peeled and deveined shrimp, poached in a basic court-bouillon
4-6 ounces cup ketchup
2 ounces Zing Zang’s (Bloody Mary Mix)
4 ounces cup Heinz Chili sauce
1-1/2-2 heaping Tablespoons prepared white horseradish; more to taste
*Optional teaspoon or so of grated daikon
2 ounces vodka
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon zest
2 teaspoons lime juice
1/8 tsp. celery salt, more to rim glass

Finely grate the zest from the lemons and limes, then juice them (save extra zest and juice for another use). Mix 2 teaspoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon lemon zest, 2 teaspoons lime juice ¼ teaspoon lime zest, Bloody Mary mix with the ketchup, chili sauce, horseradish, vodka, Worcestershire, and celery salt until well combined.  You can make adjustments to your taste of course, so taste as you go. 5 large shrimp per person or 3 Jumbo…

  • Poached Shrimp is a bit more flavorful when poached briefly in a basic shrimp court-bouillon.  For starters using a medium-sized stock pot I sauté the shrimp shells and vegetables, (rough chopped celery rib, carrot, quartered small onion, ¼ lemon wedge),  in a bit of olive oil until the shrimp shells turn bright red.  Pour in about 8 cups water, ½ cup white wine, and season with a little salt, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, large bay leaf, 2 sprigs of thyme, pinch of red pepper flakes and a little sea salt.

If you are poaching a lot of shrimp do so in small batches, poach for 1-1-1/2 minutes, remove from stock, drain & cool, refrigerate.  I place ice in a bowl, put shrimp in a zip bag and place on ice, until ready to assemble cocktail and serve.  Freeze the court-bouillon in containers.

Rim glasses with lemon and roll in celery salt 

Presentation:  Garnish celery salt rimmed glasses with a lemon slice and add peeled shrimp around the glass, serve with additional lemon wedges.

Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing (I’ve done this with Romaine and Boston lettuce) -2 servings

Wedge Salad & Blue Cheese Dressing

¼ wedge of iceberg lettuce per person, I cut it with the core intact, thoroughly rinse, allow to drain, place one cut side in a dish lined with paper towels, refrigerate until ready to plate-remove core before serving

1 fresh ripe tomato, large dice
3 cleaned and trimmed green onions, sliced
2 ¼ inch slice red onion, finely diced
4 strips crispy pancetta or bacon, crumbled

Blue cheese dressing-blend all ingredients:

½ cup mayo of choice
¼ buttermilk, cup cream or ½ + ½ to thin dressing
½ cup Greek yogurt
¼ lemon wedge, juice, zest if you like
Dash of Worcestershire
Dash of Tabasco
1-2 Tablespoons grated onion or 1 tsp California-style onion powder
Pinch of fine dried tarragon,
Salt to taste and white pepper
¼ lb good blue cheese, crumbled, reserve some to top salad

Assemble salad:  Wedge topped with salad ingredients, top with dressing and extra blue cheese.

Trudy’s Rib Eye in a pan with Cognac and Butter

Trudy's Pan Steak
Trudy's Pan Steak with Cognac & Butter

Brush steak with a little EVOO and coat both sides of a thick rib eye steak with copious amounts of freshly ground pepper or pepper mélange, pressing into the meat, refrigerate until ready to cook.

 I adjusted the original cooking times because I wanted a really good sear on both sides (sear the fat side as well) for a medium rare to medium temperature steak, I seared the pepper crusted 1-1/2-2 inch thick steak on both sides for 1-1/2 minutes in a hot preheated cast iron pan and finished in the 500° oven for 3-4 minutes, resting the steak, 5 minutes while I made the quick sauce of 1 generous ounce of cognac, stirred into pan juices adding two tablespoons butter, pour hot sauce over steak slices.


Trudy  and Pete Campbell

Trudy: Have you been drinking? Pete: The whole country is drinking!