In her last post, Ro Howe, chef-owner of Barraud Caterers, in New York City, looked back at how fashions in food changed dramatically from the recovering postwar fifties to the revolutionary  late sixties. She provided a menu of “Mad Men Moderne,” early/mid sixties-style dishes . . . with a bit of updating to suit our 21st-century tastes.

Celery Sticks with Roquefort Mousse and Dried-Cranberry/Walnut Garnish

Yield: Six portions as part of an amuse selection

Measuring spoons and cups
Small bowl
Wire whisk or hand mixer
2 medium bowsl
Rubber spatula

1 Tbsp. minced dried cranberries
1 tsp finely chopped walnuts
½ tsp sugar
Pinch chili pepper

3 sticks blemish-free celery stems, washed

1 C cream cheese
½ C Roquefort

Combine cranberries, walnuts, sugar, and chili.

Cut celery into 1 ½-inch-long pieces. Shave a thin slice off the bottom curve of the celery to allow them to sit without rolling.

Whip cream cheese and Roquefort until light and mousse-like.

Put into a small Ziploc bag, cut a small hole in one corner, and pipe into the celery.

Garnish with a generous sprinkle of cranberry mixture

 Broiled Pineapple With Bacon-Spiced Pork Belly With Roast Pineapple and Lemongrass-Ginger Syrup

Yield:  Six portions as part of an amuse selection

Measuring spoons and cups
Small bowl
Ovenproof sauté pan
Small saucepan
Small mesh strainer
Half sheet tray
Kitchen propane torch
Chinese or other soupspoons

2 Tbsp. orange zest
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
1 ½ tsp. ground cardamom seeds
2 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1# pork belly—whole piece

1 ½ Tbsp. canola oil
4-inch root end piece lemongrass, minced
1 ½ tsp. peeled, minced garlic
1 ½ tsp. minced shallot
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
½ tsp. minced jalapeño

¾ C water
2 Tbsp. fish sauce/nam pla from Asian groceries
1/3 C sugar

1 ½-inch slice peeled, cored pineapple
2 tsp. minced cilantro

For the spice mix, combine the orange zest, sugar, coriander, cardamom, salt, and pepper. Rub liberally all over the pork and store covered in refrigerator over-night.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wipe spice rub off the pork with a paper towel.

Heat a small ovenproof sauté pan. Add 1 Tbsp. canola oil. When shimmering, add pork and sear till well caramelized. Turn over and caramelize the other side.

Place pan in oven and cook for eight to ten minutes. Allow to rest.

When cool, slice the pork into small squares.

For the syrup, heat a small saucepan. Add 1 ½ tsp. oil. When shimmering, add lemongrass, garlic, shallot, ginger, and jalapeño and caramelize.

Deglaze pan with water and fish sauce. Simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, making sure evaporation does not occur. If liquid level goes down, add hot water to make up for any loss.

Add sugar and melt.

Strain, return to pan, and reduce to a light syrup.

Cool and reserve.

Place the pineapple on a half sheet tray over a sink and torch until lightly burnt. Turn it over and torch the other side. When cool enough to handle, trim into small pieces.

For service, reheat the pork, place in Chinese soupspoon and drizzle warmed syrup over it. Garnish with a piece of pineapple and a sprinkle of cilantro.


spiced pork belly with roast pineapple – lemongrass-ginger syrup

Chocolate mousse – with spicy caramelized shiitake

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