Retro 50's Dinner Party

I bought the cookbook Retro Recipes from the ’50s and ’60s. My nieces Laurie, Ge and I decided to throw a 50’s themed dinner party. 
We got together to choose which recipes we wanted to make, that in itself was a lot of fun. My niece Laurie chose to make Salisbury steak and green bean casserole, Ge chose chicken and wild rice, and rice crispy treats. I chose to make rumaki, meatballs in grape jelly and strawberry pretzel salad.

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The dish in the foreground is the Salisbury steak, then the chicken with rice Ge made, she's becoming quite the cook.  They were both so good. They are on my "I want to make this" list and I'm sure I will soon. 
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I quickly remembered why I don't make rumaki very often. They are a pain in the neck to make, they are slippery little devils. 
To the right of the rumaki is the pretzel strawberry salad, it was delicious, how can you go wrong with salty, sweet and crunchy. 

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No '50s party is complete without the obligatory green bean casserole and meatballs in grape jelly. Laurie was thoughtful enough to use almond milk in the recipe knowing my "issues" with dairy, she even used fresh green beans, what a gal. 

I don’t even want to talk about the meatballs. The recipe in the cookbook didn’t look right to me, I thought the last time I made the meatballs in grape jelly sauce (a hundred or so years ago) it was made with the grape jelly and chili sauce, this recipe called for the jelly and BBQ sauce.
I didn’t do my due diligence and search for what I thought was right but followed the recipe. All you could taste was the BBQ sauce, the jelly was totally lost in there, so I added more jelly, at least it toned down the BBQ sauce a little. They were still very good, but not what they are supposed to be. I’ll post the “real” recipe not the one from the cookbook.

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I'm sure they had lumpia in the Philippines in the '50s. We are a multi-cultural family ya' know. 

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Served buffet style, then we dined Al fresco on the patio. 

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No one could start eating until we all took pictures of the food. 
That's Tom, when his daughter saw him dancing she laughed so hard I thought she was going to wet her pants. We all did a lot of dancing, not as well as we did years ago, but fun anyway. 

Here are the recipes. 
Print No peek chicken and wild rice
Print Salisbury steak
Print Rumaki
Print Strawberry Pretzel Salad
The real Meatballs in grape jelly sauce
https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chili-and-jelly-meatballs/

And that's that!


Spicy Pork Zucchini Stir-Fry

Jump To Recipe Print Spicy Pork zucchini stir fry

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Dang, does this look wonderful or what. It has a really nice level of spice and the ratio of the soy sauce and sesame oil is perfect, one doesn't overtake the other. 
Don't overcook the zucchini, keep it a bit on the al-dente side because the recipe doesn't have a crunchy element.  If you want to add one I think bamboo shoots or celery would be a great crunchy addition. 

First I want to tell you about one of my kitchen staples. It resides on the top shelf of the refrigerator door, within easy reach. This one happens to be the Ginger Garlic Paste, I also have a smaller jar of just garlic paste. I prefer to use fresh garlic in most cases but the paste is my go-to for stir-frys and curries. 

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 I think it's one of the best spicy sauces I've used in a long time. Of course, you can kick it up a notch or tame it down according to your spice tolerance. 
The recipe calls one tablespoon of grated ginger, I substituted an equal amount of the ginger-garlic paste. 

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After you stir-fry the pork, then the zucchini separately throw them back together and douse with the sauce. 
I like more sauce than the recipes call for, so I normally double the recipe. In this case, you definitely should, even doubling it there was "just enough".

The sauce would be perfect over any Asian noodle you could think of. I'm using it to make a cold spicy noodle salad to go with dinner tonight, Mmmmm

Spicy Pork Zucchini Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • For the sauce:
    3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
    1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
    1 tablespoon sambal oelek or Asian chili-garlic sauce
    2 teaspoons toasted (Asian) sesame oil

    For the stir-fry and serving:
    1 pound zucchini (about 3 medium)
    2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
    1 pound ground pork or ground meat of choice
    Salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
    Cooked white or brown rice, for serving

Directions

  1. Make the sauce: Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.

    Make the stir-fry: Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick half-moons.
    Heat a flat-bottomed wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat until a drop of water vaporizes immediately on contact.
    Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil around the pan, add the pork, and season with salt and pepper. Let cook undisturbed for 30 seconds, then break the pork into small, bite-sized pieces and continue stir-frying until it's cooked through and golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the pork to a paper towel-lined plated and drain the pan of excess fat. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan, add the zucchini, and spread out into one even layer. Let cook undisturbed for 30 seconds. Stir-fry the zucchini until browned and just tender, about 5 minutes more.

    Return the pork to the skillet, add the sauce, and stir-fry until the sauce is well-incorporated and the zucchini begins to look glossy, about 30 seconds more. Garnish with the scallions and serve over rice.

    Make ahead: The sauce can be made 1 day in advance and stored in a covered container in the refrigerator. Let the sauce sit at room temperature while preparing the stir-fry, and stir before adding to the pan.

    Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

     

And that's that!