Sunday, September 26, 2010

"The I Hate to Cook Book" - Dr. Martin's Mix (Pork Sausage, Rice and Veggies skillet)

Date I made this recipe: September 25, 2010

The I Hate to Cook Book by Peg Bracken
Published by: Fawcett World Library (paperback)
© 1960; Third Crest Printing, April 1965
Recipe: Dr. Martin’s Mix (Pork Sausage, Rice and Veggies Skillet Dish) – p. 20

Just so we’re clear, Peg Bracken hates to cook. She hates it so much that 40 years ago, she wrote this book and has had people hating to cook (while laughing their butts off at her humor) ever since. And even though I love to cook, I had to add this book to my collection because well, why not? (Sadly, Peg passed away in 2007. And this begs the question: If Broadway dims its lights when a Broadway actor or actress dies, do cooks and chefs turn down their burners? Does the publishing world stop publishing for a minute? Do Home Ec teachers pause mid-dice to observe a moment of silence? Because everyone should--she was that funny).

My husband selected today’s recipe because his last name is Martin and his paternal grandfather was a doctor. Isn’t it great when life works out like that?

I never met his grandfather and only managed to meet his grandmother once but the family certainly has its share of stories. My favorite tale has to be when Dr. Martin took my husband, Andy and his brother, Ben, to the movies. Dr. Martin thought that Midnight Cowboy would appeal to these young lads only to be told by the poor woman in the ticket booth that this movie had absolutely nothing to do with cowboys and Indians! Well, who knew?

Andy’s grandmother, quite the social butterfly in her day, often referred to herself as “Mrs. Dr. Martin.” Now if you knew his grandmother, you’d know that she was a bit full of herself but then I found out that it is customary for women in Germany who are married to doctors to refer to themselves this way and Andy’s grandmother’s grandmother was German. While the second story is plausible, I’m going with a) bragging rights – final answer. (Although I’m told that German holders of two or more PhD’s refer to themselves as Herr Doctor Doctor…hahahahaha…)

So speaking of laughing, here is Peg’s recipe for Dr. Martin’s Mix, exactly as she wrote it 60 years ago:

Dr. Martin’s Mix 4-5 servings
(It takes about seven minutes to put this together. Dr. Martin is a busy man).
Crumble 1 to 1 ½ pounds of pork sausage (hamburger will do, but pork is better) into a skillet and brown it. Pour off a little of the fat. Then add:
1 green pepper, chopped
2 green onions, (also called scallions) chopped
2 or 3 celery stalks, chopped
2 cups chicken consommé or bouillon
1 cup raw rice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoon salt

Dr. Martin then puts the lid on and lets it simmer at the lowest possible heat until he goes out and sets a fracture. When he comes back in about an hour, his dinner is ready.

And that’s it! Except you need to know that I checked this dish 28 minutes in and the rice was starting to stick to the pan and was a little on the mushy side. So I’d plan on checking it in 20 minutes and then again a little later but definitely do not take the hour indicated or your meal will be scorched! Dr. Martin would very likely not have been happy about that. Mrs. Doctor Martin wouldn’t have been too thrilled, either.

And speaking of names, Peg could have easily called this dish (American) Chop Suey because it certainly resembled dishes I knew (and loved) as a kid with that name. I mean you had your meat, your rice, your chopped peppers and onions—the only thing different was that this recipe used Worcestershire sauce but I bet you could have easily substituted soy sauce and called it a day. If all else fails, there should be an interesting tale to tell. And maybe some day it will end up in a book. We can all only hope.

By the way, a 40th anniversary edition of this cookbook is now available (in hardcover) from most bookstores. Run, do not walk, to get your copy.


Anonymous said...

For a spicier Mix add a tablespoon of HP or A1 sauce.

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful people pleasing recipe.
Great for times when you do not have a great deal of time to cook.
Add a salad and fruit -- dinner is on time
Tanks to Peg

penney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liza said...

Our family LOVES the crispy rice at the bottom of the pan. But do make sure you’re using a non-stick pan or plan on a good, long scrub.