One of the marks of a great TV show is that the characters cross your mind, like real people, and you wonder about them.
“Mad Men” is one of those shows. For almost a year, I’ve been wondering … Did Betty go through with it? Will Roger and Joan ever get back together? And, most importantly, could Don Draper possibly get any hotter? Sweet goodness. I intend to find out this Sunday, July 25, when the new season premieres on AMC.
Oh, and to celebrate, we’ve come up with another “Mad Men” Premiere Menu, inspired by the characters and food trends of the 1960s. After the main menu, you’ll find last year’s picks, a Retro 60s Family Dinner, cocktail party suggestions, a menu based on Don and Betty’s trip to Rome and a “What Would Jackie Kennedy Serve?” French-inspired dinner. Bon appetit!
This Year’s Menu:
“Go home, take a paper bag, cut some eye holes out of it. Put it over your head, get undressed and look at yourself in the mirror. Really evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses are. And be honest.”–Joan Holloway (now Harris)
Can you imagine Joan ordering something with a silly name, like a Screwdriver or Sex on the Beach? No, no, no. I like to think she’d be a bourbon girl. Mainly because I am.
“Look, I want to tell you something, because you’re very dear to me. I hope you understand it comes from the bottom of my damaged, damaged heart. You are the finest piece of ass I ever had, and I don’t care who knows it. I am so glad that I got to roam those hillsides.”–Roger Sterling
Yes, a fully loaded wedge salad for Roger, a “more is more” kind of guy. The wedge is classic 60s, topped with plenty of bacon and blue cheese dressing in honor of Roger’s coronary.
“I have a life. And it only moves in one direction. Forward.”–Don Draper
I know, Pete Campbell’s the one who orders a rib-eye cooked in butter, but that’s because he wants to feel like the man. Don Draper is the man.
(Note: To keep things somewhat budget-friendly, this recipe is designed for one steak to feed two people.)
“As far as I’m concerned, as long as men look at me that way, I’m earning my keep.”–Betty Draper (Francis?)
Remember Betty’s “Trip Around the World” dinner party? Did you catch her copy of “Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook” propped open on the kitchen counter – years before it should have been published? That Betty, she’s ahead of her time when it comes to food trends.
In the mid-60s, Julia Child and Jacqueline Kennedy were inspiring American wives to try French cooking, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Betty whips up some Coq Au Vin this season. Or bookmarks the recipe for some poor maid.
Bourbon vanilla ice cream topped with a salted bourbon-caramel sauce and buttercrunch toffee. Cream for Sterling. (“Did everything they told me. Drank the cream. Ate the butter.”) Caramel sauce for Cooper. (“You pour the honey on. Then you lick it off.”) Bourbon for Draper and his “Old Kentucky Home.” And toffee for Pryce, the Englishman.
- Pete’s Pan-Fried Onion Dip with Utz Chips
- Betty’s “Grin and Barrett” Gazpacho
- Sterling Caesar Salad
- FDDT Kebabs (Rib-Eye, New Potato and Portobello)
- Joan’s Fresh Tomato Tart
- Peggy’s Mini New York Cheesecakes
Retro 60s Family Dinner:
- Country-Style Pot Roast with Tomato and Red Wine Gravy or Mini Meatloaves
- Holiday Mashed Potatoes (or instant mashed potatoes, introduced in 1964)
- Green Giant® frozen peas (introduced in 1961)
- Brown-and-Serve Dinner Rolls
- Banana Pudding Parfaits, Banana Splits, Brownie Pudding, Coke Floats, Hot Fudge Sundaes, Mix ‘n Match Mini Cheesecakes, Popsicles, Skillet Apple Pie
- Coca-Cola® in cans (introduced in 1964)
“Mad Men” Cocktail Party:
- Assortment of olives and Marcona almonds
- Brie en Croute with Brown Sugar, Bourbon and Pecans
- Lemon-Rosemary Chicken Souvlaki
- Quick-N-Dirty Cheese Straws
- Savory Palmiers or Bruschetta with Tomato, Basil and Pecorino
- Shrimp Cocktail
- Cocktail (Choose something from the “Mad Men” 1960s Cocktail Guide!)
Don and Betty’s Recreated Roman Holiday Dinner:
- Caesar or Chopped Antipasto Salad or Panzanella
- Chicken Piccata or Real Meatballs and Spaghetti or Skillet Lasagna
- Vegetarian Options: Grilled Vegetable Lasagna or Summer Spaghetti with Arugula and Tomatoes
- Italian Bread
- Panna Cotta with Blackberry Sauce, Tiramisu Sundae or Spumoni Ice Cream
“What Would Jackie Kennedy Serve?” French-Inspired Dinner:
- Field Greens with Spiced Pecans, Goat Cheese and Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq Au Vin
- Vegetarian Option: Goat Cheese Tart
- French String Beans with Roasted Red Onion and Peppers
- French Bread
- Coeur a la Creme with Raspberry and Grand Marnier Sauce, French Chocolate Brownies or Madeleines