Jo Foxworth has written about women who run business, in fact, she has run her own business. This kind of research led her to think about some of the first business run by women. The fact is many of the first women-owned businesses were bordellos. Foxworth combined a history of these “houses of ill repute” with a collection of recipes that they just might have cooked in The Bordello Cookbook.
Unfortunately, I don’t know of anyone who has actually found a “cookbook” used at an official bordello, so Foxworth brought in Jeanne Bauer to help with the recipes that might have been served at such bordellos.
In many cities, the bordello was indeed a house. These houses served as a type pf gentleman’s club, providing a place to socialize, smoke cigars, grab a bite to eat, shower and shave and yes, have sex. The kitchens in many of these establishments provided food as readily as the women provided sex.
What would a bordello kitchen be without oysters?
1/2 pound thinly sliced cooked turkey
1/2 pound thinly sliced cooked ham
1 tablespoon, Dijon-style mustard
6 scallions, long green tops set aside, white part finely chopped
Top each slice of turkey with a slice of ham, brush lightly with mustard, and scatter finely chopped scallions over the top. Place an oyster in the center of each, bring the sides up to form a purse. Tie each purse with a long green strip of scallion. Place the oysters in a glass dish and microwave on High for one minute, or until heated through.
Most bordellos didn’t have microwaves in the day, so I imagine these were just popped in the oven to warm up.
While we are not condoning visits to a bordello, we do endorse these easy to make appetizers.