Can’t read the fine print? MRS. WILLIAM G. McKNIGHT, charming New York socialite, blah, blah, appears in yet another astonishingly bad pasteup from the Herbert Tareyton cigarette company in the 1950s. Does she look good enough to eat? Not to my taste, anyway, but let’s suppose she did; what could we do with her? Without discriminating, I mean.
This is an old British recipe, the British having had socialites for a considerably longer time than the Yankees. It used to be called Curate’s Cheek as well, referring to that part of the curate which was likely to be the toughest, it having spent so much time sitting down in idleness; this says a lot about how they viewed their curates. Those unfortunates with no easy access to curates’ (or socialites’) cheeks made do with lowly ham. Our modern socialites are much more active and their cheeks are likely to be somewhat more exercised with concomitant changes in muscle texture so you will have to evaluate the cheek in question to decide how you want to treat it. Forthwith, the recipe.
Socialite’s Cheek in Mustard and Cream Sauce
This is a very easy recipe to prepare, wonderfully quick for those times when you need something special but have only limited resources to work with. Fit for kings and commoners, this dish never fails to please. Even the team in the Zombie Test Kitchen likes this one! (Although to be fair, they are not overly picky, but they do prefer raw cuts.) Because it uses sugar, this recipe is not strictly paleo and should probably be reserved for special occasions. Serves 4.
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 tablespoons English mustard powder (or French, if your socialite est du monde)
1 pound cooked (cured) cheek (ham will work in a pinch), thickly sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream
Watercress, for garnishing the socialite’s cheek
Preheat the oven to 300 F
Mix the sugar and mustard in a small bowl. Place the cheek in a small ovenproof dish and sprinkle about a tablespoon of the mustard and sugar mixture over the cheek slices. Put any remaining mustard and sugar over the top slice and add the cream.
Bake uncovered for 20 minutes and then covered for another 10.
Put a little watercress on each of the socialite’s cheeks before serving them.
That’s all there is to it! Have fun, bring out your inner child, and stay young and monstrous.