Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Book Nine: A Treasury of Great Recipes by Mary and Vincent Price

Recipe: Game Hens with Wild Rice and Orange Sauce
Bonus Recipe: Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Who remembers the wonderful Vincent Price? Actor, writer, and unbeknownst to me a gourmet!

I received this cookbook from a dear friend, whom I cannot believe would give up this wonderful treasure of a book. The look, feel and smell of this book took me into pure reading bliss. No Kindle or Nookbook will ever be able to take you there.

This is such a joy to leaf through. I love that each chapter begins with a copy of an original menu from some of the finest restaurants around the world. The recipes range from very simple to complex. This book was written back in the mid sixties, hence the use of monosodium glutamate in a few of his recipes, and butter, and cream.... Hey, life is too short to worry about all  that! All in moderation I say!! (I'll pass on the msg however.)

This recipe was was way too easy. I was not sure what to do with myself with the extra time! The only real drawback I had is I did not have a small roasting pan. I only have a large one that I use once a year - on Thanksgiving. I improvised and used the bottom portion of my broiler pan. The directions say to turn the hens and baste with the juices....I did not really have any juices....nor did I turn the hens, and they turned out perfectly.

I also did not cut off the orange rind and boil it. I chose to zest the orange and add it to the sauce. Not sure if they had "zesters" back then. I think they were invented only 20 or so years ago for culinary use (before that it was known as a rasp for woodworking.) Personally I would have liked for a more prominent orange flavor in the sauce. Maybe more zest or a dash of salt to bring out the flavor. All in all this was a great dish! I'm going to rate this a 3 on the success meter just for the simplicity and presentation; though my photography skills need work to showcase this.

As for the bonus recipe - I ran out of time and will make them tomorrow and post pictures then. The reason for making the cookies is that I had all the ingredients, which rarely happens!

Success meter (1-3): 3 

flambé the Grand Marnier!

Serves: 4
4 Rock Cornish game hens
Salt and Pepper
¾ cup butter plus 1 tablespoon, divided
2 oranges
4 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups hot cooked wild rice
½ cup chopped walnuts
Game Hens
1.       Preheat oven to 350°
2.       Spread game hens with ½ cup butter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange in a shallow roasting pan and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, turning the birds and basting frequently with pan juices.
3.       Remove birds to warm serving platter and keep warm.
1.       Remove the thin orange rind from 1 orange with a vegetable peeler and cut rind into very fine shreds. Cover orange shreds with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2.       With a sharp knife, peel 2 oranges, removing all rind and every trace of the bitter white covering. Cut oranges into sections, free of connecting membranes, and add to shredded rind.
3.       Pour off excess butter in roasting pan. Add 4 tablespoons Grand Marnier and ignite. When flame burns out stir in 1 cup chicken stock and cook, stirring in all the brown glaze from the bottom and sides of pan. Stir in 1 tablespoon flour mixed to a paste with 1 tablespoon soft butter and cook, stirring, until sauce is slightly thickened.
4.       Add the shredded orange rind and orange sections and simmer for 2 minutes.
Wild Rice
Toss 2 cups hot cooked wild rice 9cook according to package directions) with ½ cup chopped walnuts, ¼ cup soft butter, and salt & pepper to taste.
Put the wild rice around edges of platter with the game hens in the center. Spoon the orange sauce over the hens and pass any extra sauce in a gravy boat.


Parchment is my best friend.
The instructions should say to generously butter the cookie sheet. As you can see from the photo I had a bit of a struggle removing the cookies, though it made for quite an artistic presentation. So the second batch I used parchment paper to line the cookie sheet and the cookies came off with no problem once cooled.
I also misread the recipe and used more like a heaping teaspoon of batter for my first batch and they turned out enormous!! Suffice to say, I did not end up with anywhere near 48 cookies. Not sure I would have, even if I used the recommended amount of ½ tsp of batter.
Should I make these again, I may not grind the oatmeal quite so fine. I think I would like a bit more texture to these cookies. I’m also not sure if I really like them – though I keep eating them.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Makes about 48 cookies
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup melted butter
1.       Preheat oven to 350°
2.       Put through the fine blade of a meat grinder the oatmeal.
3.       Add to the oatmeal flour the sugar, egg, vanilla, salt, and butter. Mix well until you have a thick dark brown batter.
4.       Drop by half teaspoons on buttered cookie sheets, 2 or 3 inches apart - the cookies spread into large, thin circles while baking.
5.       Bake for 12 minutes. Remove cookies with spatula while they are still warm. As soon as they cool, they harden and will stick. If that happens, put them back in a warm oven for a few seconds until they are soft enough to remove. Store in a closed cookie jar.


  1. I love what you're doing!!!! And that you're using your 'mess ups' as art! :)

  2. nice piece of information, I had come to know about your internet site from my friend vinay, delhi,i have read atleast 12 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your website gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new post, once again hats off to you! Thanx a ton once again, Regards, cornish hen recipe


Thanks for visiting! Would love to hear from you - feel free to comment.