Mad Men: Swedish Meatballs & Waldorf Salad

A review of Betty’s Swedish Meatballs and Connie’s Waldorf Salad from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.

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Betty’s Swedish Meatballs

I LOVE Swedish meatballs, so I was super excited to try this recipe!tumblr_m9uwcms1bJ1r17y54o1_1280

This one is mentioned by Betty Draper in Season 3 Episode 6, when Don comes home late and she offers him the option between the Swedish meatballs or chicken salad.  For some reason he picked the chicken salad, but that certainly wouldn’t have been my selection!

The meatballs are made first by combining bread crumbs, milk, beef, onions, egg, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a bowl and mixing it all together with your hands.  Then the mixture is formed into meatballs.

20180826_171409Then the meatballs are cooked in butter over the stove until browned on all sides.  I left them on for quite a while to make sure they were mostly cooked through already.

Once the meatballs are browned, they’re removed before flour and beef stock are added to the pan.  20180826_172442Though the recipe actually suggests adding the flour first, and then the broth, I combined the flour and warm broth separately first.  I didn’t have a lot of liquid left over from the meatballs, so I thought it was the better choice.

Next, either cream or half-and-half are added and stirred into the flour/broth mixture for a few minutes before adding the meatballs back in a simmering them for 10-15 minutes.

Mine didn’t exactly “simmer,” but the meatballs were cooked well.  There was just a little bit of pink in the middle.

Taste: 10/1020180826_173658

We loved these so much!  I would definitely make them again.

Difficulty: Average

There’s a lot of monitoring the stove and constant stirring to make sure nothing burns over the stove, but otherwise this is not a very difficult recipe.

Cost: Average

You will need bread crumbs, milk, ground beef, onion, egg, nutmeg, butter, flour, a beef bouillon cube, and light cream or half-and-half…but a lot of these are common ingredients, so you probably have several already.


Connie’s Waldorf Salad

04864cda52530906fe8a1650dd1bcf38This recipe is from the same episode as the meatballs, but a different scene.  Connie is “Conrad Hilton,” founder of the Hilton Hotels and owner of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.  Don meets him at the Waldorf, where Connie mentions that the food is amazing and they even have a salad named after the kitchen.

This is the not the Waldorf salad that’s currently served today, but the original recipe.  I was tempted to try the current one because of all the crazy ingredients, but decided to stick with the original since it’s likely what would have actually been eaten in the show.

I wasn’t able to find tender heart of celery, so I bought regular celery.  My intent was to chop off the outside of the celery and just use the middle/heart, but since I was preparing this at the same time as the meatballs I had to rush a bit and some of the harder celery exterior made it in.20180826_170854

The mayonnaise is supposed to be “well-seasoned,” which turned out to mean “add a lot of salt and pepper.”

Next is the apples.  They’re peeled, cored, sliced, and then the majority of the slices are cut further into julienne strips.

The julienne apple strips, celery, and half of the mayo are mixed together.  Then the remaining mayo is spread over top, and the edges are garnished with lettuce and the remaining apple slices.

Taste: 7/10

This salad was okay, but I didn’t love it.  Mayo isn’t a favorite, and neither is celery, so that may have been the issue here.  But I did like the crunch of this salad.20180826_173704

Difficulty: Average

Though the salad has just four ingredients, one of which is decoration, preparing the apples can be a bit tedious.

Cost: Cheap/Average

All you really need is mayo, apples, and celery.

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