Saturday, January 23, 2010

For My Facebook Friends of the Mighty Mo and Hot Shoppes

Finding Facebook Friends of the Mighty Mo and Hot Shoppes brings back memories from early childhood to high school. Brain-freeze from the Orange Freeze. The best fries and onion rings. The Mighty Mo itself – the first triple decker burger in DC, whose two beef patties and special sauce pre-dates Mc-Whatsis. And everyone’s best treasured memory – Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake.

While I have Mighty Mo memories, I also own two relics of the Hot Shoppes era. The Marriott Hot Shoppes Cookbook: Sixty Years of American Cookery has a history that begins with A & W Root Beer stands, where J. Willard Marriott got his start, and 188 pages of recipes. For reasons that are lost in the mists of time, I also have a laminated Mighty Mo curb service menu. Where were you when these were the prices?

Crisp Hot French Fries 25¢
Golden Brown Onion Rings 35¢
Mighty Mo - All Beef ‘n Cheese – 3 stories high! 65¢
Filet of Fish 65¢
Pappy Parker’s Smoky Mountain Fried Chicken Party Pack (20 pieces) $4.25
Orange Freeze 35¢
Milk Shake 35¢
Our Famous Ice Cream Cake – strawberry or hot fudge 45¢

Why I expected magical secret complicated recipes is beyond me. If you take your own trip down memory lane with the incredibly easy Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake, use good chocolate for your fudge, and don’t forget Mighty Mo sauce for your next burger. No brand names or recipes for key ingredients were specified, so you’re on your own.

Hot Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Two 3”x3”x1/2” slices of plain yellow cake (day old)
3”x3”x1/2” vanilla ice cream square
4 T heated hot fudge
2-1/2 T whipped cream
1 drained maraschino cherry

On a serving plate, sandwich the ice cream square between two cake layers.
Drizzle 1 T of hot fudge over each of the four cake corners, leaving the center free from fudge.
Place the whipped cream in the center of the cake.
Top with the cherry.

Mighty Mo Sauce

½ c ketchup
¼ c chili sauce
1-1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 drops Tabasco
½ cup finely chopped sweet pickle
1-1/4 cup mayonnaise

Combine the first five ingredients. Add to the mayonnaise, stirring until well-blended. Keep refrigerated.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Minnesota State Fair's Darned Good Meatloaf

I heard the Siren Song of Meatloaf this week, and remembered “State Fair Ham Loaf” from the estimable Minnesota State Fair: An illustrated history (Kathryn Strand Koutsky & Linda Koutsky). This beautiful history of the Fair has nearly 185 pages of pictures and text, with an additional 20 pages of recipes from State Fair contest winners, 4H ribbon-winners, and a variety of historic sources.

Given my personal history, Ham Loaf is impossibly exotic. For many of you this may take you right back to childhood.

There was no ham in my childhood. I’m Jewish, and, although my Mother didn’t keep Kosher, she never permitted pork in her house. She had obscure boundaries, though, because her shrimp creole and crab cakes were fabulous, and she made terrific meat and cheese lasagna. But I never understood why she would never order a cheeseburger.

Church-sponsored dining halls are a long-standing Minnesota State Fair tradition, and the original Ham Loaf recipe dates from 1930, when it was served in the St. Paul Hamline United Methodist Church dining hall.

You can put this together in less time than it will take to heat the oven. In adapting this recipe, I cut it in half, doubled the spices, cut out an egg, and mixed the whole thing in a food processor. The end result will look like a thick pink paste. Process the ham and the rest of the ingredients and then add the ground beef. This makes a great cold meatloaf sandwich.


¾ pounds ham (buy a chunk from your deli counter)
1-1/2 cups dried fresh breadcrumbs
1 small onion, chopped
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp fresh ground pepper
¾ tsp curry powder
¾ tsp dried sage
¾ tsp allspice
1 c milk (low fat is fine)
1 egg
¾ pounds lean ground beef

1 c brown sugar
1/3 c vinegar (cider preferred)
¼ c brown mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan.
2. In your food processor: pulse the ham and onion. Add the remaining ingredients except the beef and make sure that they are thoroughly mixed. Add the beef and pulse until everything is well-combined. Spread into the prepared pan.
3. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Pour half of the sauce over the top of the loaf.
4. Bake for 60 minutes.
5. Drain the liquid that is collected in the pan. Pour the remaining sauce over the loaf.
6. Bake for an additional 30 minutes. Pour off the liquid.

While this is very good hot from the over, it makes an even better MEATLOAF SANDWICH.