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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Marilyn Monroe: Secret Foodie

Beauty, brains and kitchen skills? Marilyn Monroe is hailed for her kitchen talent by a New York Times article that recreates a stuffing recipe of hers from the recently published autobiography, “Fragments”. So she really did have it all, there is a consensus of Marilyn experts saying, yes, the woman can cook. In a recent auction two cookbooks she owned and personally annotated were sold for $43,700 and a set of yellow Le Creuset pans went up for sale at $25,300.

The recipe Marilyn had written on a “City Title Insurance” letterhead was a stuffing recipe that had quite a mixed bag of ingredients including lots of raisins, hard boiled eggs and different nuts. The suspect it to be a recipe of Italian and San Francisco influence with additions like sourdough and particular spices. The New York Times recreated this dish and struggled with it for two hours. They are the ones that may need to practice their cooking. I wasn’t seduced to recreate it for my Thanksgiving feast, but it definitely was unique and meticulous. In a way it was charming to look at Marilyn’s scribbly writing and misspellings on the recipe. Now I know her and I not only share a sexy hour glass figure, but we both have fairly sloppy handwriting. It’s nice to find that perfection doesn’t seem to be as important when she was alone. The book, “Fragments,” is a collection of her original writing, poems and notes that are copied and re-written for clarity. Check out the book and get a glimpse at her undiscovered side. Marilyn Monroe has now been revealed to be much deeper than any number of photos would let on through this recipe and her other personal writing.

Feeling like a pinup cook yourself? Here is her very own recipe:

Time: 2 hours

No garlic
A 10-ounce loaf sourdough bread
1/2 pound chicken or turkey livers or hearts
1/2 pound ground round or other beef
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chopped curly parsley
2 eggs, hard boiled, chopped
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts, pine nuts or roasted chestnuts, or a combination
2 teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
2 teaspoons dried crushed oregano
2 teaspoons dried crushed thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt-free, garlic-free poultry seasoning (or 1 teaspoon dried sage, 1 teaspoon marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon pepper.


1. Split the bread loaf in half and soak it in a large bowl of cold water for 15 minutes. Wring out excess water over a colander and shred into pieces.

2. Boil the livers or hearts for 8 minutes in salted water, then chop until no piece is larger than a coffee bean.

3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef in the oil, stirring occasionally and breaking up the meat, so no piece is larger than a pistachio.

4. In your largest mixing bowl, combine the sourdough, livers, ground beef, celery, onion, parsley, eggs, raisins, Parmesan and nuts, tossing gently with your hands to combine. Whisk the rosemary, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper together in a bowl, scatter over the stuffing and toss again with your hands. Taste and adjust for salt. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use as a stuffing or to bake separately as dressing.

Yield: 20 cups, enough for one large turkey, 2 to 3 geese or 8 chickens.

Recipe & Image from New York Times

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