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Madmen party! need ideas!

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We are having a Madmen themed dinner party. I need ideas of retro entrees that can be modernized. brainstorm anyone?

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    1. Betty threw a dinner party with a theme this past season. I think it was internationally themed, and featured the beer that was a new account for Sterling Cooper: bottled Heineken. Oh, here's mention of it in another thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/567421

      1. What IS a madmen themed dinner party? I feel a bit out of the loop..

        2 Replies
        1. re: gardencub

          Mad Men is a brilliant TV show on AMC about the advertising world (Mad-ison Ave.) circa 1960. Best show on TV and the Emmy to prove it.

          1. re: adamshoe

            I feel so backwards. I am usually up on these things.. Well I will add it to my must watch list.

        2. Shrimp cocktail and bloody mary's.

          1. Besides the dinner party that Betty hosted, they also had an early episode when she came in to the city and had dinner with Don. She started with tomato juice. Then I think she had the sole...with creamed spinacn and potatoes au gratin.

            1. Tomato juice appetizer with a squeeze of lemon.

              1. Sterling Cooper accounts: Heineken, Lucky Strikes, and Utz Potato Chips & Snacks.

                1 Reply
                1. re: trentyzan

                  If Potato chip company figures in the plot, you HAVE to have chips and dips. I spent hours making a home made onion dip from a recipe I found on epicurious, only to have it taste, exactly, and I mean EXACTLY like the Californial Dip using Lipton's onion soup mix.

                2. This is great, but we are a hard core cooking group. (my salad last time took 6 hours to make and assemble)
                  The theme is Madmen, but all the food will be updated versions. anyone have an updated version for Chicken Kiev ? Turkey Tetrazini? (what IS that?)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Sue R

                    How about recreating the espisode where Betty has the dinner with the "menu from around the world"?

                    The menu includes gazpacho from Spain, rumaki from Japan (it’s actually Hawai’ian) and some locally raised leg of lamb with German egg noodles. Guests will be able to wash it all down with a burgundy from France, or… a Heineken beer from the Netherlands!

                    1. re: Sue R

                      I don't know how you can update a classic like chicken kiev, unless you want to go wild with the herbs that you mix into the butter you stuff the chicken with.

                      Turkey Tetrazzini is a turkey noodle casserole. Here is a Tyler Florence recipe for it:


                    2. Goulash. Oh so yummy Hungarian goulash ;) After your tomato juice appetizer of course.

                      Seriously though, I like the idea of Mad Men accounts (Utz, etc.) but you might want to look at some old 1950's and 60's cookbooks for appetizer recipes as well. You'll be authentic, and some of them are a HOOT! I found one at a flea market called "Canned Meat Magic!"

                      1. You might check out James Lileks "The Gallery of Regrettable Food" for disturbing inspiration on entree ideas.

                        1. I've only watched Madmen a couple of times. If they are trying to do 60's, the clothes are 50's. 50's food was meatloaf. You could tweek it with red pepper flakes. Also, tuna casserole. I have an updated delish recipe, if you're interested. Swiss steak, very popular then. Make it with wine. Wine was seldom, if ever, used. Liptons onion soup with sour cream dip, rumaki or clam dip. Dessert, maybe a Fosters Freeze kind of thing.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Gail

                            While some of the characters dress more trendily than others, the costumes are clearly early sixties, not fifties. Perhaps you formed a quick impression watching only two times? The show is pretty darned accurate to period, including the food. Your menu suggestions are on the mark for early sixties, as "international" cuisine was just making its way into the mainstream, as was wine, though more in the larger cities. Mixed drinks and beer were still much more common, FWIK.

                            1. re: amyzan

                              Well, gee amyzan.

                              >>>the costumes are clearly early sixties, not fifties.<<<

                              I was actually around then! I was in college and very aware of fashion in the fifties. However, back to the menu....I think you touched on something important, larger cities. I wonder if the food choices then where more regional and we are trying to equate say, east to west. Madmen is, of course, NYC. I was in California during 50s & 60s. Maybe the OP should call on a New Yorker for menu advice.

                              1. re: Gail

                                So, I'm curious, since you were around then (and I wasn't)--Did trends, food and fashion wise, just travel more slowly then? If you take particular characters, some are more trendy than others, as fits their personalities. I don't think the fashion changed radically from 1959 to 1960, which is when Mad Men starts in season one. But, some characters would have looked entirely out of place in 1953 in those clothes. That's what I'm saying, and the food followed suit.

                                1. re: amyzan

                                  Just as today, some were more "trendy" than others. Just as in the 60s, we weren't all hippies. I would be hard-pressed to notice the difference between '59 & '60.

                                  Foodwise, don't you think there might have been a difference between say, LA and NYC during the Mad Men era? Due possibly to ethnic differences.

                                  1. re: Gail

                                    I'm sure, probably the US in general was less homogenous in foodways back then.

                          2. My assumption is that you are looking for an entree that would have been served at an elegant dinner party by an upper middleclass hostess like Betty in the early 60s. So, not meat loaf or the kind of food you'd serve the kids at supper. What about Beef Wellington?

                            1. love the beef wellington idea. We have a no beef rule, so maybe an individual version with chicken. Maybe work in some truffles? anyone have a great creamed spinach recipe?
                              Thanks for helping!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Sue R

                                if you have a no beef rule, You could do chicken a al king, and while I have never watched the show, an uppper middle class hostess from the early sixites in new york would most likely have used a tried and true recipe, nothing too daring, Her dip, or dessert, or appetizers would have been trendy, but it is highly unlikely she would have experimented on her guests.

                                What about the classic ice berg wedge with green goddess or russian dressing? My folks thought they were the cat's ass when they pulled out that trick, and early 60's was their "time"

                                1. re: gardencub

                                  Would Boston Cream Pie be a '60's dessert? If so, I'm searching for a simpler version than that on Food Network. Please direct me. Thanks.

                                2. re: Sue R

                                  I like the Creamed Spinach recipe from the Joy of Cooking. Not only is it easy, the Joy was a cookbook that was around in the 60s.

                                  If no beef, maybe duck a l'orange? I think of it as a true 1960s dish, although maybe more likely to be found in a restaurant, as opposed to a home dinner party.

                                  1. re: masha

                                    Joy of Cooking was first published in the 30's. But, hey, lots are still using it today....a classic.

                                3. Jane and Michael Stern's book "American Gourmet" gives recipes for some classic dishes of that period.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mnosyne

                                    Bacon wrapped around scallops and/or chicken livers (what was this called?)