You’re familiar with the saying, “When worlds collide…” right? Two worlds colliding accounts for one of the funnest things I collect: Old Hollywood celebrity cookbooks and recipes.
- Since I was 18 years old, I have collected cookbooks. I’m an avid cook and food blogger and cherish my cookbook collection. Some belonged to loved ones and I am thankful they were in the habit of writing in their cookbooks.
- As I’ve often said here, I collect Old Hollywood biographies and autobiographies like it’s my job.
So…. naturally, the two collided and the inevitable happened – I collect every Old Hollywood star recipe and cookbook I can get my eager hands on!
The most recent one I’ve bought is pictured here, Cooking Price-Wise: A Culinary Legacy by Vincent Price. In addition to being a wonderful star of stage, radio, and screen, Vincent Price was a noted gourmet. Not only did he have several cookbooks to his name, he even had a cooking show (Cooking Price-Wise), making him one of the earliest celebrity chefs.
Before I get to the recipes, I just want to say what a wonderful writer Vincent Price was. His personality and humor come through in every word he wrote – it’s as though you’re having a visit with him, face to famous face. He even makes the humble potato fascinating!
From the Back Cover: Best known as a star of stage and screen, Vincent Price was also a noted gourmet whose enthusiastic promotion of home cooking included several cookbooks and a television show, Cooking Price-Wise. This charming book of Price’s favorite recipes is based on the Thames Television series he hosted in the 1970s, which showcased timeless international cuisine. Scores of easy-to-make dishes from around the world include soups, breads, main courses, sidedishes, and desserts that can be made from ingredients readily available in supermarkets and food shops. Fascinating food-related historical tidbits add extra zest to the newly typeset recipes and numerous color and black-and-white photographs that enhance this handsome collectible edition.
My personal approach with all recipes when I first see them is to make them as close to the original as possible. I say “as close to” because a lot of the cookbooks/recipes I collect are really old and foods available then are either not available now or are known as something completely different. Something I run into even more frequently (regardless of the age of the recipe) is the fact I have to eat gluten-free… health reasons.. so I have to make frequent substitutions. Once you’re accustomed to it, it’s not such a big deal.
However, on the first time making a recipe, I stay as close as absolutely possible to the recipe, as given. In future relationships with the recipe, I’ll add this, add that, cut back on this, substitute that, etc. This process (what I call making a recipe your “own”) has led to some of my favorite and most frequently used recipes.
Having said all of that, on my food blog and everywhere else, I always preach the same sermon – make a recipe AS WRITTEN the first time. It’s the only way to know, for sure, what you’d do differently (if anything).
Very often, you’ll come across a recipe like the one here and think, “I wouldn’t change a thing!’
This is the first recipe I made from Cooking Price-Wise: A Culinary Legacy and it’s one I’ll make OFTEN. I have always loved fried potatoes with onion (it’s kind of a staple here in the south) but I had never parboiled the potatoes, first, while cooking the onions separately before. Vincent Price’s approach is outstanding and one of the reasons is the fact that the onions flavor the oil they’re in and set the stage for deliciousness when the potatoes join the party.
The recipe is called Lyonnaise Potatoes and it’s from one of my favorite sections, Potato Recipes. What can I say, I’m a real potato head.
Recipe Below the Picture…
Here’s the recipe, as written in the book:
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
Parboil potatoes; this takes about 3-5 minutes. Lightly fry onion rings until pale golden brown. Remove from the pan, then fry potato slices. When cooked, add onions and fry both together until crisp and brown.
- I used Russet potatoes because they’re the potatoes I had on hand. It’s also my “go to” potato for frying.
- I used Sunflower oil simply because I’ve become obsessed with it but vegetable oil or peanut oil would be great, too.
- I allowed my onions to go a little past golden brown because I’m wild about the flavor they take on at this point.
- I kept the seasonings really basic – salt, pepper – because I wanted the flavor to be as close to what Vincent, himself, would have been enjoying. I get an especially big kick out of eating food the stars ate!
- I served these with fried catfish (an obsession) and fried green tomatoes (another one).
- There was, surprisingly, a little potatoes leftover, so I invited them to breakfast the next day. I heated the potatoes up in a skillet with a little fresh bacon grease and OMG they were amazing.
Not only is this beautiful book filled with similarly wonderful recipes, the vintage pictures are out of this world. I love the fact that the recipes come from around the world – the intercontinental flavors and overall vibe make it unlike other cookbooks.
Possibly my favorite part of the book, however, is Vincent Price, himself. He had a very warm personality and it comes shining through. Great food, great author… can’t beat that!
Other Recipes Include:
- Potatoes with Sour Cream (Poland)
- Potato Yahni (Greece)
- Peruvian Peppers
- Sweet Potato Cake
- Irish Stew
- Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon Dressing
- Summer Bacon Soup
- Arabian Nights Pilaf
- Fried Chicken with Lemon Rice
- Pineapple Custard Pudding
- And a lot more….
You can find Cooking Price-Wise: A Culinary Legacy on Amazon.