I don’t know what this thing is where series’ get off on extending their final installment over the course of two years. Breaking it up. Just call it a fucking extra season, man. Mad Men’s final season starts on Sunday. Well you know, kind of. The first part of it. The second part will be next year, much like another season.
Regardless of the divided final season bandwagon that AMC has been all about, I’m still quite excited about this season. I think the show started very strong, had a bit of a lull and is now back in full force. Last season spent a lot of time building up some major character changes and I’m eager to see how they pan out. As a matter of fact, I think I’m least interested in Don’s storyline. It’s always been a roller coaster of betrayal and talent and I can only assume we’re in for more of that.
The characters I’m most interested in are Peggy and Joan. As a woman in the world of advertising, I myself have encountered minor injustices of sexism but nothing that the likes of the women of this time period have. I think Peggy is on her way to a completely dominating creative takeover and Joan is already a partner, but now she’s winning accounts and being a bad ass. I’d love to see some female dominance in this show and I think it’s about to happen.
I know there have been a lot of theories about Megan Draper’s fate as some iconographic wardrobe choices were not-so-discreetly chosen for her character last season.
And lets face it, no one really cares about Betty. (Sorry January Jones, you’re still hot.)
So that’s what is on my mind as we approach the new and “final” season. What are you guys most excited about?
As always, I’m here with some great Mad Men theme recipes to kick off your Sunday premiere. We’re going vintage cocktail party-style, so strap on your leisure suits and enjoy the ride. Below are some classed up versions of some retro recipes. First, a pig-in-a-blanket recipe that I like to call Hamm and Weiners. It’s flaky delicious croissants with crispy pancetta and smoky cocktail weenies with a whiskey-laced dipping sauce. Next to it, serve up some individual broccoli cheese casseroles, better known as Sterling Cooper Draper Ryce. This isn’t your typical condensed soup and cheese wiz kind of dish. We’re making an easy cheese sauce from scratch and topping it off with some delicious homemade fried onions.
Put on your Betty apron, grab a martini and get cookin’. You have all day Sunday to prepare.
Hamm & Weiners: Cocktail party pigs in a blanket with a bit of sophistication
- 6 oz Spanish jambon
- 1 pk. cocktail weenies
- 1 pk. frozen Trader Joe’s mini croissants* (8 ct)
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk
- coarse sea salt
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp whiskey
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp chili powder
Proof frozen croissant dough overnight (if instructed to on box).
Mix sauce ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Tear croissant into two pieces. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each weenie, followed by a piece of croissant dough and set on parchment paper. Repeat until you’ve used all of your dough.
Let rise for another hour.
Brush each weenie with egg wash and sprinkle with a tiny bit of coarse sea salt.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until dark golden brown. Serve with whiskey dipping sauce and a Scotch, neat.
* Please note that I don’t consider crescent rolls and croissants to be the same thing. If you can only find crescent rolls or if you prefer them, then by all means, use them. However, this recipe is intended to use actual croissants.
Sterling Cooper Draper Ryce: an updated vintage broccoli cheese casserole
- 2 cups rice
- 1 head broccoli, chopped and steamed
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- salt and white pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup fontina, shredded
- 1/2 cup cheddar + more for topping, shredded
- cooking spray
- 1 onion, very thinly sliced
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tbsp seasoned salt
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- oil for frying
Begin by making your onions. Place onion slices in a large prep bowl and pour buttermilk over top. In another large prep bowl, mix flour and seasonings.
Heat oil in a large pot on your stove, over medium-high heat.
When oil is hot, remove a small bunch of onion rings from buttermilk, shake off excess liquid and roll around in seasoned flour. Drop in the oil. Cook for 3-5 minutes until golden brown. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until your whole onion is cooked. Set aside.
Cook rice. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 8 ramekins with cooking spray.
In a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, melt butter. Drop in minced garlic and stir. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until garlic is fragrant.
Stir in flour. Grab a whisk and slowly whisk in buttermilk. Whisk in dijon, salt and pepper. Continue to cook over medium-low for 5-7 minutes. The sauce will begin to thicken and bubble. Stir frequently.
Next add in shredded cheeses in small handfuls, whisking as you go.
Sauce will be thick, cheesy and awesome. Mix together sauce, 1/2 cup of your fried onions, broccoli and rice and spread into ramekins.
Bake for 15 minutes. Top with the remainder of your onions and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
(You can make one large casserole, but increase cooking time by ten minute prior to adding fried onion topping.)
Don’t drop any cigarette ash in your sauce and be sure to yell at your children for added flavor.
Fontina Turner, a food blogger and graphic designer from Philadelphia, makes classy-as-fuck comfort food and consumes an unhealthy amount of cheeses and craft beers. She can be found in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or trying to make H. Jon Benjamin love her. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.