23 September 2011

The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: Bette Davis' Red Flannel Hash

Her gravestone says, "She did it the hard way," but she made it all look so easy.

from The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes From More than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen by Frank DeCaro (on sale everywhere 3 October 2011).

There are lots of fun recipes here, Elizabeth Taylor's Chicken with Avocado and Mushrooms, Gene Roddenberry's Lima Beans and Ham, Mabel King's Banana Fritters, Patrick Swayze's Chicken Pot Pie, Dom Deluise's Doodlewoppers and Madeline Kahn's Foot Cookies (no feet involved, only sugar, flour and regular cookie stuff)

Bette Davis was my Grandma Florence's second favorite actress (Debbie Reynolds was her first).  When I was twelve, I came down with a bad case of bronchitis right before Thanksgiving vacation and my grandma stayed with me while my mother and stepfather left town to visit family.

Grandma wasn't a great cook, in fact, she was famous for her dreadful cooking (peanut butter and mint jelly sandwiches, buttered pizza, crunchy apple marshmallow strudel) so we ate jello, crackers and store bought pumpkin pie while watching old movies.  I remember staying up late (my cough medicine made sleeping difficult) and watching A Pocketful of Miracles with Grandma, we both cried at the end (it is such a sweet movie, you really should check it out if you haven't seen it before).

Here's Bette Davis' Red Flannel Hash
from The Dead Celebrity Cookbook by Frank Decaro

2 cups cooked corned beef

3 cups cold boiled potatoes

1 1/2 cups cooked beets.

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup or more of cream

1/2 stick butter

Chop all ingredients and combine in a large bowl.  Season to taste and moisten mixture with cream.  Place in a hot buttered skillet.  Stir and spread evenly in pan.  Brown slowly over medium heat.  Serve with Poached eggs on top.

Sounds nummy, right?

This is my adaptation; with extreme liberties taken for modern tastes, sorry Ms. Davis!

1 cup of shredded, cooked roast beef (this is what leftovers are for ladies and gents)

1/2 onion, sliced

2 shallots, sliced

3 or 4 beets, peeled and chopped

2 red potatoes, chopped

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1.  Melt butter in pan.  Add olive oil.

2.  Cook the onions and shallots til golden brown over a medium heat and then add the potatoes and beets.
3.  Sear the beets and potatoes on one side for three minutes, then stir and allow the other side to get crusty.  Turn the heat lower and add the reserved shredded meat, cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes.

4.  Salt and Pepper to taste and Presto!  Red Flannel Hash Nirvana!
Well, almost red.  I had these pretty candy beets sitting in the veg drawer for weeks (oops, I forgot about them) and as tasty as they were, there wasn't enough red in them to turn the hash red, but it tasted insanely good.  I wasn't sure about sauteed beets and wondered if they'd ruin my shredded beef goodness.  Nope, they only added to it!

Try this recipe on beet haters, I bet they'd convert.

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