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Monday, August 17, 2009

mad men premier!

sunday night was the heavily promoted season 3 premier of mad men, and i thought it would be fun to have a 60s themed dinner to accompany our viewing. given the number of tomatoes i'm trying to get through right now, i took a dish from betty draper's own table and made a wonderful chilled gazpacho. and, as a nod to the decade, and a treat for us after eating so light this summer, swedish meatballs completed the menu.

i've never made swedish meatballs, and after some clumsy web searches looking for authentic 1960s recipes, i gave up and went for one from alton brown. he seems trustworthy. alton brown's swedish meatballs. they were delicious! the gravy in particular was terrific.

i haven't made gazpacho in years, so did a couple of searches and put together a very basic recipe. it turned out great! as a friend said, "it's pretty damn hard to screw up gazpacho." there are tons and tons of variations on this recipe that i'm sure are equally wonderful-- just make sure the tomatoes are ripe, and use a good quality olive oil.


1 lb tomatoes
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded
1 medium red bell pepper
1/2 sweet onion
2 cloves garlic
1 cup organic, low-sodium tomato juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup diced avocado

finely chop (or chop in food processor) all veggies except avocado. mix all together in a bowl and stir in tomato juice, vinegar, and olive oil. season with salt and pepper. refrigerate for a couple of hours at least. this soup gets better the longer it sits. serve chilled, topped with the avocado.

of course, it wouldn't be mad men without adult beverages. irish whiskey and a french bordeaux i'm sure would have met with sterling cooper approval. this was the end of the mad men authenticity, however. we elected to skip the chain smoking, letting kids play in dry-cleaning bags, the complete and total subjugation of women and minorities, and we limited the number of brazen affairs to zero. but check out that vintage glassware!

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