04 April 2014

Famous Food Friday -- Victor Borge

Yes, Virginia, we love a good celebrity cookbook.  We especially love those cookbooks written by the obscure celebrity.  Actually, in his prime, Victor Borge was quite the celebrity and his fame continued with a centennial celebration on PBS.  Borge was an accomplish classical pianist, but he gained fame by poking fun of his talent.  His ability to blend high culture and slapstick made him a natural for music hall variety shows of 40's and 50's radio and television. It would seem that encouraging listeners to use Chopin's "Minute Waltz" as an egg timer was quite lucrative.  In later years, he even visited the Muppets.

He invested his money in a farm in Connecticut.  Victor Borge is known in the culinary world as the man who introduced Rock Cornish Game Hens to the American housewife.  The "game" in Rock Cornish Game Hens is a misnomer.  It is a particular breed or rather cross breed of chicken that is killed very young.  The breed occurred when the stocky Cornish game rooster was bread with a Barreled Plymouth Rock hen.  The resulting offspring were had short legs and big breasts and when killed young, they made attractive little single-serve chickens.

Housewives in the 1950's were enamored of the little birds that were quick to cook and made a far more exotic a main dish than "chicken."  While Borge was the "King of Game Hens," his farm also raised pheasants and guinea hens.

Since his birds were "exotic" and shipped from his ViBo Farm, he put together a small pamphlet of a cookbook to provide the harried housewife with ways to cook the Rock Cornish Game Hen.  Here is his favorite recipe:

Victor Borge's Favorite Recipe

Rub the inside of six ViBo Rock Cornish Game Hens with salt and pepper.  Sear in 1/4 lb. butter in Dutch Oven until golden brown -- 10 to 12 minutes.  Add 1 1/4 cups water and let simmer, covered, until tender -- approximately 35 minutes.  Remove birds.  Stir into drippings a paste of cold water and three teaspoons flour.  Add 1/2 cup light cream, salt, tasteless sauce coloring, 1/2 teaspoon sugar.  Serves six.

Ask yourself,  "Which isle is the 'tasteless sauce coloring' in?

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