Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Father's Daughter: a kitchy recipe for Father's Day

In the months leading up to the release of Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook, My Father's Daughter, I briefly entertained grand notions of cooking and blogging every recipe. But wouldn't you know it? The (well deserved) media blitz that immediately followed the book's publication took care of that for me.

The Kitchn and Serious Eats both tested and reviewed several recipes from MFD, as did many other blogs. Several newspapers also showcased MFD recipes, many of which you can also find online. And, if you're you a big Gwyneth fan like me, you shouldn't miss this great feature in Bon Appetit, complete with its own slideshow. All this to say, I'm pretty sure you can almost piece together your own free copy of My Father's Daughter through the power of Google.

Still; in honour of Father's Day, I thought I would belatedly add my own recipe review from this superb book.

It was a challenge looking for a recipe that had not yet been profiled, but I did find one, and I think it's particularly fitting for this day.

You see, the cultural education I received from my chef-father was not limited to food and entertaining. He made sure I was exposed to all the arts, and that happened to include, among many other things, the best of 1970s television.

That's how I know Gwyneth's mom, Blythe Danner, a very talented stage and screen actress who did a lot of high-quality television in the seventies. She even has the the distinction of staring in what is widely regarded as the best Columbo episode of all time. (What discussion of 70's television would be complete without Columbo?*)

According to MFD, Danner used to prepare the following recipe whenever people stopped by for lunch. It was created by screenwriter and lyricist Lenny Gershe. Hence the name.

PLAYWRIGHT'S MELT

Ingredients

1/4 cup brine-cured olives, roughly chopped
4 scallions, finely sliced
2/3 packed grated cheddar
1 tsp curry poweer
a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp Vegenaise

2 English muffins

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and spread on 2 halved and toasted English muffins. Broil for about 1 min.

I can't not love a recipe that combines cheddar and mayo; something I've been advocating since the early days of this blog.

Of the recipe Gwyneth notes "If you don't like the salty pungency of brine cured black olives, you can  make this a bit milder by using what Lenny Gershe traditionally used — a small can of semi-flavourless black olives. A little kitsch never hurt anyone."

You're right, Gwyneth, it never did.

Happy Father's Day to all the cheesy dads out there.

 *I have all 7 seasons of the original series if anyone wants to borrow.