17 September 2009

The Greenhouse Cookbook

Stanley Marcus, of Neiman-Marcus fame, called Helen Corbitt the Balenciaga of food. Being a huge Balenciaga fan, this is no small complement. I will say, I am not so sure that he is right, but it was a different time and place, so he may well have been.

For fourteen years, Helen Corbitt served as the Director of Restaurants for Neiman-Marcus as well as being a consultant to the Greenhouse, the store’s spa, outside Dallas. Unfortunately, she died before the publication of The Greenhouse Cookbook. It the late 1970’s it was considered one of the “must reads” for women who wanted to slim down the fashionable way. All the recipes were considered “dietetic”

Corbitt admonishes her readers, “Think thin and you will automatically say “No, thank you” to the extra calories from bread and highly starchy foods.”

There seem to be a lot of “quichey” recipes in the cookbook and given the time period, that would seem altogether fashionable.

Here is a chile torte, basically a green chile quiche, sans crust.

Green Chile Torte

1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups jack cheese, shredded
1 4-oz.can whole green chile peppers, seeded and finely diced
1/4 tsp. Vegetable salt
a pinch of cayenne

Heat milk until hot but not boiling. Beat eggs; slowly beat milk into them. Add cheese, peppers, and seasonings. Pour into 6 lightly greased shirred-egg dishes, or a 9-inch pie tin. Bake at 325 F/165 C about 40 minutes, or until set.

If you are feeling rather "heavy" and are looking for a nice "dietetic" luncheon dish, give this a try.

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