Silver Screen Suppers on… Cooking with Vincent Price

Recipe Corner

As well being an accomplished actor and an art expert and lecturer, Vincent Price was also passionate about food. As his daughter Victoria says in her lectures on her dad, ‘He loved to eat’.

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Along with his second wife, Mary (Victoria’s mum), Vincent published the acclaimed gourmet tome, A Treasury of Great Recipes, in 1965, which brought together recipes collected from the kitchens of 35 American restaurants (including the Four Seasons, Galatoire’s and Locke-Ober) and eight European countries, plus several dozen of the Price’s own unpretentious favourites, including two for hot dogs. This glorious tome got a sumptuous reprint in 2015 by Dover Press.

ComeIn 1969, the couple also released their Come Into the Kitchen Cook Book, which was devoted to the heritage of American cuisine, from the early pioneer settlers to the Victorian era. This was reprinted many times, with different covers, as well as in a five-volume series which was retitled A National Treasury of Cookery.

Cooking Price Wise

In the six-part 1971 Thames TV series Cooking Price-Wise, Vincent invited viewers to ‘travel round the word using your cooker instead of a jet plane’, and shared his experiences of international cuisine, preparing such delicacies as Moroccan tajine, the American Ice Box Cake and Fish Fillets Noord Zee. These recipes and a host more were published in a paperback that is much sought-after today.

This page is dedicated to Vincent’s favourite recipes and is hosted by Jenny Hammerton, who runs the Silver Screen Suppers website. Just click on the recipe title, where you will be taken to the host page.

Vincent Price’s Bounty of Paradise Party: Sampling the delights from Vincent’s International Cooking Course LP
Cooking Price-Wise – Fish Fillets Noord Zee: Try Vincent’s Dutch delicacy


All around the world, people love eating and drinking like Vincent Price, here’s a round up of links to other blog posts that celebrate Vincent’s favourite recipes.

Treasury • An appreciation of Vincent’s food writing by Kimberly Lindbergs – In the Kitchen With Vincent Price http://moviemorlocks.com/2013/10/24/in-the-kitchen-with-vincent-price/ – includes the recipe for Souffle Pudding Pierre.

• Dr Bobb made Pineapple Nut Loaf and Poularde Pavillon (Chicken in Champagne Sauce) even crushing the mushrooms with a rolling pin as directed by Vincent – http://dbkitschen.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/vincent-price-treasury-cookalong.html

A Slash and Dine Toast to Vincent Price includes the recipe and photographs of the Dark Mocha Cake made by Nicole and Megan – it looks delicious! http://www.brutalashell.com/2011/05/a-slash-dine-toast-to-vincent-price/

• Greg Swenson, author of the Recipes For Rebels James Dean cookbook wrote a great piece about Vincent’s love of Sardi’s restaurant and his post includes the recipe for Cheese Knots – http://www.recipes4rebels.com/?page_id=1031

Granny Pantries had a go at the Blueberry Muffins A La Postada and suggested adding a little vanilla to the recipe – http://granniepantries.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/cooking-with-vincent-price.html

• Over at the Vincent Price Mania blog, two recipes were sampled. First, an all time top favourite in the Silver Screen Suppers Kitchen, Mexican Creamed Corn – https://vincentpricemania.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/the-treasury-cookalong-vincent-prices-mexican-creamed-corn/ Plus one I haven’t tried yet, Old Fashioned Bread Pudding – https://vincentpricemania.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/mary-and-vincent-prices-old-fashioned-bread-pudding/

• The lovely Annie at Kitchen Counter Culture turned to her battered and much loved Treasury for the Gateau Grand Marnier recipe – https://kitchencounterculture121.wordpress.com/2015/11/06/gat/

• Lauren from The Past On a Plate made Blueberry Muffins A La Postada and Ranch Eggs – what a lovely brunch! http://www.thepastonaplate.com/2015/11/brunch-with-vincent-price.html

• Miriam Figueras bravely tackled Souffle Au Grand Marnier with excellent results – http://cinemagratia.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/vincent-price-treasury-cookalong.html

• Yinzerella from the superlative Dinner Is Served 1972 blog made Vincent Price’s Bloody Mary & Bookbinder’s Snapper Souphttps://dinnerisserved1972.com/2015/11/06/vincent-prices-bloody-mary-bookbinders-snapper-soup/

• Tracy of Tracy’s Vintage Corner made a delicious-looking Old Fashioned Bread Puddinghttps://tracysvintagecorner.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/20151023_153102-copy.jpg

• Super stylish blogger Ruth, from Mid-Century Menu made something I’ve wanted to try for ages, Crab Puffs – http://www.midcenturymenu.com/2015/11/crab-puffs-vincent-price-treasury-cookalong/

• In Canada, Lisa from Brain Meets Keys put together a spectacular brunch, trying out three recipes from the Treasury in one go! Blueberry Muffins a la Posada, Buckingham Eggs and Champignons Marie-Victoire http://www.brainmeetskeys.com/2015/11/vincent-pricetreasury-of-recipes50th.html

• Battenburg Belle took the Treasury all the way to France and made Caesar Salad, Sea Bream Biscay Style and Petits Pois a la Francaisehttp://www.battenburgbelle.com/another-day-another-cookalong/

• Taryn from Retro Food for Modern Times made Chicken in Champagne Sauce – http://retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/11/07/vincent-prices-chicken-in-champagne-sauce/ and Buckingham Eggs as a JAFFLE – http://retrofoodformoderntimes.com/2015/11/04/vincent-prices-buckingham-eggs-jaffle/


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• Nathalie Morris from the British Film Institute and yours truly demonstrate how to make Vincent Price Goulash

 


DISHES AND DRINKS FROM ADVERTISEMENTS FEATURING VINCENT’S RECOMMENDATIONS…

• Clara from Heritage Recipe Box rustled up a New Fashioned Cocktail https://heritagerecipebox.com/2015/11/01/nothing-scary-in-vincent-prices-cocktail/

 

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Cooking with Vincent Price Ale

Vincent Price Ale: Black CatJenny Hammerton at Silver Screen Suppers celebrates the launch of Vincent Price Ale and the BFI’s screening of the 1960s western The Jackals with a tasty classic from Vincent and Mary’s Price’s Come into the Kitchen Cookbook. 

When I heard there was a Vincent Price Ale my first thought was: “what can I cook with it?!” I went directly to The Treasury of Great Recipes, and then Cooking Price-Wise, and then the Come Into the Kitchen Cookbook to see in which of his recipes Vincent used the best of all cooking ingredients – beer!

A conversation with Vic Pratt, Curator of Fiction at the BFI got me to thinking about The Jackals. Have you got your tickets yet? It’s a very rare chance indeed to see this film on the big screen here in London, and what’s more, Vincent’s daughter Victoria will be there presenting a talk about her father after the screening. Here’s a link to the box office – it’s on Tuesday 20th September at the BFI Southbank. I am super excited.

Vic and I had a brainstorm about what Vincent’s character in the film would eat. The film is set in South Africa and Vincent plays a gold prospector. To us Brits, a gold prospector who wears a hat like this:

Vincent Price in The Jackals

is effectively a cowboy. So we thought Chilli? Beans? Sausages? I decided that a recipe from the Come Into the Kitchen Cookbook would be most appropriate as it’s a kind of look back into ye olden days of American cooking.

So there in the “Young Republic” section, I found a recipe for Beef Ragout. I think if Oupa Decker or his daughter Wilhemina made this, they would be more likely to call it beef stew. It’s a very solid, meaty, meaty, meaty dish which might not be to modern taste. I can definitely imagine it being scraped up from metal plates with metal spoons around a camp fire with great vigour though…

The Vincent Price Ale has only just been launched at FrightFest and I have a crate on order, so alas, I couldn’t use the “Black Cat” for this particular dish. But if I’d had some, I definitely would have. As soon as my delivery arrives I’ll be trying Vincent’s recipe for Carbonnade of Beef from Cooking Price-Wise. Oh yes!

Until then, here’s the Ragout recipe, with my suggestions for making it a little less “Wild West” and a little more foodie friendly.

Vincent Price's Beef Ragout

Beef Ragout from the Come Into the Kitchen Cookbook
by Mary and Vincent Price

4 to 4.5 pounds rump of beef, cut in 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup flour
2 to 3 tablespoons salad oil
1 cup hot water
7 ounces beer (about 1 cup) [200ml]
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon each parsley flakes and rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon each savory, marjoram, and basil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 strip lemon peel 3 inches by 1 inch
1 onion, peeled
8 to 10 whole cloves
2 tablespoons catsup [ketchup]

Coat the beef cubes in flour; brown in hot oil in a Dutch oven [casserole dish]. Pour in the water, beer, seasonings, carrots, celery, lemon and the onion studded with the cloves. Cover and cook gently 1 and 1/4 hours, stirring occasionally, or until the meat is tender. Remove the onion and stir in catsup. Correct the seasonings. You may add sliced mushrooms, artichoke bottoms boiled and quartered or hard-cooked [hard boiled] egg yolks.

Makes 6 servings.

I tried my best to take an appetising photo of the Ragout before I fiddled around with it, I think I failed.

 

Vincent Price's Beef Ragout

Here’s how I pimped it.

I browned the flour coated beef in a frying pan, then put that and all the other ingredients except the ketchup into my slow cooker and left it to do its thing overnight. The beef was really lovely and tender, but the flavours weren’t very pronounced and there wasn’t much liquid. As I was hoping for more of a stew, when I got home from work, I popped in a tin of tomatoes, a bit of homemade spicy barbecue sauce and lashings of Worcestershire sauce and black pepper to joosh it up. Yum.

As there was just me, myself and I, there are now two big portions of this are in my freezer and I am planning to use one for Lasagna and one for Shepherd’s Pie.

I will report back on the Carbonnade of Beef soon!

*** ORDER BLACK CAT ONLINE NOW FROM ALES BY MAIL***

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Sateh Babi | A touch of Indonesia from A Treasury of Great Recipes

In our ongoing test of tasty recipes from the cookbooks of Vincent Price, here’s a great summer BBQ treat, Sateh Babi (Skewered Pork), from the original Bali Restaurant in Amsterdam.

The BaliThe Bali restaurant in Amsterdam was famed for bring Indonesian cookery to the Netherlands, and this skewered pork recipe comes from that now closed establishment, and makes excellent use of the Javanese soy sauce ketjap benteng (although ketjap manis is a fine substitute). Best served with steamed rice and other rijsttafel (rice tables) dishes.

sateINGREDIENTS
Pork
Java soy sauce
Salt, pepper
Sugar
Cooking oil

METHOD
Cut: 1 pound lean tender pork into small cubes. Marinate the meat in: 1.3 cup Java soy sauce (ketjap benteng or ketjap manis) with 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ½ tablespoon sugar for several hours, or overnight. The longer the better.

When ready to cook, thread the meat on short sticks, using about 4 cubes on each stick. Brush with cooking oil and broil 2/12 inches from heat for 20 minutes, turning frequently and basting with cooking oil.

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Pork Cutlets Escorial | Eat like a Spanish king with this classic dish from A Treasury of Great Recipes

PorK Cutlets Escorial | A Treasury of Great RecipesOn one of the sunny days that hit London recently, I got the chance to dine al fresco in the back garden. It was the perfect time to dip into Vincent and Mary Price’s A Treasury of Great Recipes for inspiration as to what to do with a number of pork shoulder medallions – and there I found Pork Cutlets Escorial.

This dish is tremendous, as is the Escorial’, wrote Vincent about the pork cutlet recipe that he got from a chef at the Palace Hotel in Madrid, which is named after Philip II’s ‘gloomy old palace and monastery’ – just the sort of place that would suit our favourite Gothic horror star.

799px-VistaescorialThis dish is incredibly easy to make, and the fusion of olives, cream and Brown sauce was winner. I did, however, leave out the glacéed chestnut (aka Marrons glacés) as they were out of season.

The recipe also calls for Mustard Fruits, which originated in Cremona, Lombardy, Italy and are made from unripe fruit preserved in a syrup that has been combined with mustard oil. As I didn’t have any, I substituted it with some homemade chutney that I had lurking in the back of a cupboard and it worked a treat.

INGREDIENTS
Pork cutlets
Dijon mustard
Salt, pepper
Butter
Flour
Mustard fruits
Dry white wine
Cream brown sauce
Large stuffed olives
Glacéed chestnuts

PORK CUTLETS
1 Rub: 4 pork cutlets with 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard each, and sprinkle with a little salt and some ground pepper.
2 In a skillet heat: 2 tablespoons butter in it sauté the pork cutlets for 5 minutes on each side, or until brown. Reduce heat and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Transfer cutlets to warm dish and keep warm.

PorK Cutlets Escorial | A Treasury of Great Recipes

SAUCE
1 Discard all but 1-tablespoon drippings in pan.
2 Add to pan: 1-tablespoon flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3 Add: 1 cup dry white wine, bring to rapid boil and boil briskly, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
4 Stir in: ½ cup cream, 3 tablespoons brown sauce [I used HP Sauce], 8 large stuffed olives, finely chopped, and 4 glacéed chestnuts.
5 Return pork cutlets to sauce and simmer for 3 minutes.
6 In a small pan heat: 6 tablespoons finely chopped mustard fruits in their syrup.

PRESENTATION
Transfer cutlets to warm serving dish, cover with sauce and top each cutlets with a glacéed chestnut. Drain the chopped mustard fruits and sprinkle on top.

 

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Cooking Price-Wise | Vincent’s Fish Fillets Noord Zee

cooking price wise knife

This guest post comes from
Jenny Hammerton of Silver Screen Suppers

Hello, I’m Vincent Price!’
So begins each episode of Vincent’s Price’s glorious television show, Cooking Price-Wise, which launched on this very day in 1971 on ITV at 11.15pm. Lucky television viewers in Britain were given friendly cooking advice from the Master of Menace himself, in six stupendous instalments.

In a traditional striped butchers apron and jaunty cravat, Vincent presented exotic sounding recipes gleaned from glamorous places outside the British Isles. He guaranteed that these recipes could be made with ingredients that any Brit would be able to buy in their neighbourhood store or supermarket. At the time this series was produced, that was saying something…

In the early 1970s many British cooks were strictly ‘meat and two veg’ types, but Vincent aimed to educate and inspire them to expand their horizons. He proclaimed that: ‘in this series of programmes, I hope to take you around the world, using your cooker instead of a jet-plane.’ He wanted to encourage the British cook to try something a little bit different, and would demonstrate some favourite dishes that he and his wife Mary had collected ‘on our travels, here and there.’ Vincent reassured his viewers that, ‘no matter how outlandish some dishes sound to you, or how out of the way the places they come from, they really are quite simple.’

Cooking Price-Wise (1971)

Before the cooking began in the very first episode, Vincent gave viewers a potted history of an obscure little vegetable that was discovered in Peru. He managed to riff about this magical food for a good few minutes without actually revealing its name. At the end of his history lesson he pronounced with great relish: ‘and this, ladies and gentleman, is it!’ Bringing into view a large, mucky example of this very famous ingredient, he pronounced its name in the way only Vincent Price could: ‘the po-ta-to.’ There then followed a demonstration on how to make three recipes using the humble spud. Manhattan Vichyssoise, Pommes de Terre Savoyarde and Fish Fillets Noord Zee.

Vincent cooks in a kitchen set that is a dream come true for those who love 1970s cookware. He uses some beautiful enamel saucepans, white with an orange and yellow design. Scattered around the work surfaces are groovy orange and yellow storage canisters. He grinds salt and pepper from lovely red and yellow wooden grinders, so familiar to those of us who grew up in the 1970s. Inspired by Vincent I treated myself to some decorated enamel saucepans a couple of years ago, and I always think of his cooking show when I use them.

My Saucepan

Vincent was very keen on kitchen contraptions. On the first show he uses an electrical device that produces a ‘whole box’ of perfectly sliced potatoes. He then shows how to use a blender to take some of the work out of making Manhattan Vichyssoise. He jokes that you must remember to put the lid on the blender ‘otherwise you will have a brand new paint job in your kitchen’. He has a lovely, friendly, chatty style as he cooks. Well aware that not every home cook in the 1970s would have a blender, he advises that using a sieve would be just as good, but harder work. Vincent’s obvious confidence in the kitchen would have really encouraged the tentative cook to try out his recipes, I am sure. He really does make the food he is preparing sound easy to make, and delicious to eat.

Cooking Price Wise_Ad_TVT_cropAll of the recipes Vincent demonstrates in the cookery show are included in the book that accompanied the series. Cooking Price-Wise is now an extremely rare and highly collectable cookbook, which was originally priced at just 30p. If you have a spare £1,000 knocking around in your bank account, you could buy one of the only 2 copies available on Amazon. Currently priced at £999.11, you’ll have 89p to play with assuming they throw in free postage. I would never, ever sell my much-treasured copy of this book. It is very bashed about, as I use it often, and it contains my notes on the recipes I have made from its lovely selection. The first time I made Fish Fillets Noord Zee in 2011 for example, my verdict was simple.  Scribbled in turquoise ink, it just says ‘Awesome!’.

Fish Fillets Noord Zee is one of the recipes Vincent demonstrates in the first episode of Cooking Price-Wise. This is a really fun dish to make as it involves putting mashed potato into a piping bag in order to make a series of ‘dykes’ which represent the sea walls in Holland. It’s a pretty bonkers recipe, but is definitely a crowd pleaser if you have guests. Sometimes I feel that making an extravagant dish just for yourself is fun too, so I rustled this up just for myself the other day. I felt like the Queen of Holland having this all to myself.

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In the Cooking Price-Wise book Vincent says: ‘If you don’t feel like cooking fish…other foods can be placed between the potato walls – for instance, you can serve all your vegetables beautifully arranged on one large dish, or a mixture of meat and vegetables can be divided by the walls. Anyhow, the important thing is to use your imagination!’

So my second attempt at this dish contained plaice prepared exactly as Vincent recommended, with his lovely creamy sauce, but instead of mushrooms, shrimps, scallops and herring roes, I used up whatever vegetables I had in the fridge. It was utterly delicious! Here’s the recipe to serve 4, but you can divide accordingly if making for less.


Vincent Price’s Fish Fillets Noord Zee
4 medium potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
Small amount of cream
4 fillets of plaice
½ pint / 284ml dry white wine*
Juice of one lemon
1/2-teaspoon salt
1/4-teaspoon white pepper
4 tablespoons butter
4oz / 112g button mushrooms
4oz / 112g shrimps
4oz / 112g herring roes, floured
4oz / 112g scallops

For the sauce
2 eggs
1-tablespoon flour
1/2 / pint / 284ml cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Parsley to garnish

Cook potatoes in salted water until very tender. Drain and mash. Beat in butter and enough hot cream to make fluffy potatoes that are still stiff enough to be pressed through a fluted pastry tube. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm over simmering water.

Poach the plaice in a cup of water, the white wine and lemon juice, with the salt and white pepper added for 5 minutes. Remove the fillets and keep warm. Boil liquid over high heat until reduced to 1/4 pint / 142ml.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in each of 4 small frying pans. In one sauté the mushrooms for 5 minutes. In another the shrimps for 5 minutes. In a third, toss the floured herring roes for 5 minutes. In the last, cook the scallops for 5 minutes.

Fill a forcing bag, fitted with a large fluted tube, with the mashed potatoes and press out fluted ribbon down the centre of a large serving platter. On one side press out 3 ribbons from centre to edge of platter, making 4 evenly divided compartments. Arrange the fillets on the other side in the long compartment. Put platter into a warm oven to keep warm.

Sauce
In saucepan beat eggs with flour and cream. Strain the reduced fish liquid into the egg-cream mixture and cook, stirring rapidly until sauce is hot and slightly thickened. Be careful not to let it boil. Stir in 1/2-teaspoon salt, or to taste, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Presentation
Pour sauce over the fish fillets only and garnish with parsley

NB – when converting imperial measurements to metric, there is often a slightly odd result. 112g of each of the dyke fillings are a literal translation, but you can, of course, use more or less as you see fit. Also, for American readers, the Imperial pint is 20% more liquid than an American pint. Probably not crucial in this recipe but something to bear in mind when making the sauce.

Vincent ends the first episode of his brilliant cookery show by shaking some salt over his Vichyssoise and tucking in. He signs off by saying: ‘I hope we meet again, good eating!’ and I say the same. Maybe I’ll do another post sometime, for the Vincent Price London Legacy UK blog. Vincent made Dolmades, Moroccan Tagine and Cafe Napoleon in episode 2, so perhaps I’ll try one of these. In the meantime, I do hope you give Fish Fillets Noord Zee a go. Good eating!

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