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Recipe Redo

Time for Super Bowl. “Economizing” is this year’s theme, everyone’s doing hummus and salsa. Michael Ruhlman’ s getting preachy about “POT popcorn.”

Skip the trends and go with this idea. Green Goddess dip. Pull out your retro recipe, revamp it and wow friends and relatives.

I’d been thinking about Green Goddess dressing lately when Amanda Hesser, food writer for the New York Times wrote about it. In her column, Recipe Redoux. she pairs a classic “true food” with a chef’s spin, providing culinary history along the way.

Hesser pulls out a 1948 update and contrasts it with a trendy sauce slathered on lamb. I prepared the recipes. Both veered from this diva’s panache in ways that are disappointing.

Hesser recounts the origins:

 The Green Goddess salad was made famous at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in 1923 as a tribute to George Arliss, the star of the play “The Green Goddess.” Descendant recipes vary, although most, including James Beard’s in “American Cookery,” rely on a foundation of tarragon, anchovies, chives and scallion. Some include garlic, parsley and chives, some sour cream. In a recent version by Ina Garten, found on the Food Network Web site, she replaced the tarragon with basil. The salad remained green, so no harm done. The bottled Seven Seas version of the dressing, so popular in the 1970s, went the way of moon boots as ranch and balsamic dressings elbowed their way onto shelves. Now produced in limited quantities by Kraft, it’s sold at places like the Vermont Country Store — purveyors of “the practical and hard-to-find” — for about $7.50 a bottle.

I went to Lost Recipes by Marian Cunningham, and found the original. (You can find the recipe online at Saveur) and whipped it upBloomfield describing Green Goddess as 

“a bit like a Caesar, don’t you think?” she asked after tasting it. A lot like a Caesar — and probably related, as Caesar salad was also popular in California in the 1920s. “It’s very strong, but it goes really well with the romaine, which is sturdy,”

I made the original and tossed the salad. Other than the anchovies, it didn’t taste anything like a Caesar. I like a sturdy, hardy salad and I’m no whimp when it comes to full-fat flavors, but it was too much. I mixed a tablespoon of the dressing into a vinaigrette and started over. Hmmm. pure joy.

Times change, tastes changes and Green Goddess dressing as a salad dressing is over. But the flavor is wonderful and the color pure and cleansing. So I thought, what about a dip.

I took the orginal, tweaked a few things and came up with Green Goddess dip. If your body is craving cholorophyll and vegetables after all the fatty, sugary indulgences of Christmas, this is it.

The changes I made:

  • I added more parsely and chives. I like Green Goddess green, green, green.
  • I used fresh tarragon. You can use tarragon vinegar if you want to save money and time.
  • Instead of anchovies, I used fish sauce. Fish sauce imparts a more subtle anchovy flavor. Besides, you save money and time.

Green Goddess Dip

  • 6 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 4-5 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tarragon vinegar (or 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp-1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • Black pepper to taste

Finely chop herbs and place in a food processor or blender along with lemon juice, vinegar, sour cream, mayonnaise and salt. Blend until the mixture is a deep green. Just before serving add the fish sauce (to taste) and black pepper.

Serve with chips, pita bread or fresh vegetables.

Varuation: Substitue cilantro for parsely and lemongrass vinegar for the tarragon vinegar.




Written by Susan Gillie

February 1, 2009 at 4:36 am

Posted in bloggage, food as fun


Happy New Year! Sorry for the long absence, but a bad bout of illness during the holidays, followed by a burst of cooking endeavors is my excuse.

Feast of the Epiphany

Trying to stave off the horrible intestinal/sore throat flu raging through Indianapolis in early December, I succumbed at an inappropriate time. The weekend before Christmas, I knew I’d lost. Food didn’t look good, didn’t smell good, didn’t taste good. When I woke up on Christmas Day, the bugs had seized my throat as their territory. December is when I clean out my freezer in preparation for the new year, so there wasn’t any food made chicken stock. Campbell’s and Mrs. Grass became my new best friends.

After 500 bowls of chicken soup and gallons of orange juice, I hobbled through the holidays. The good news–I don’t have to worry about shedding the 5 to 8 lbs. of end-of-the-year flab. The bad news, I didn’t get to eat any of the good stuff–no cookies, no succulent meats, no nuts, no chocolate.

Don’t feel sorry for me, though. While I was shivering on the couch, I spent my time reading “Christmas Around the World.” If I couldn’t indulge in Christmas (or New Year’s) at least I could still read and dream about them.

Published in 1937 by IDEALS it’s a romanticized, idealized fantasy of Christmas:

“In this book describing the Christmas customs of many countries, we join the world-wide fellowship that Christmas has produced and so realize in our experience something of the ONE WORLD that is implied in the angels’ song:

Glory to God in the highests, And on earth peace, Good will toward men.

As saccharin as the stories are, in other parts of the world Christmas is a season, not just a day. When the veil of temporary misery lifted and my appetite returned, I decided I’d celebrate the Feast of Epiphany.

Epiphany is the “real Christmas.” Western Christianity celebrates it as the pilgrimage of the Wise Men and homage to Baby Jesus; Eastern Christians celebrate it as Jesus’ baptism. What the day brings to a foodie like me is a lot of latitude, creativity and a better chance to cook food I like than December 25th.

I opted for the Eastern version. Grilled lamb, bulghur pilaf a peasant salad of greens and hearty bread pudding.

Greek Orthodox bishop at the Great Blessing of Waters on Theophany, releasing the cross off the Glenelg Jetty, South Australia, for one of the swimmers below to retrieve.

Greek Orthodox bishop at the Great Blessing of Waters on Theophany, releasing the cross off the Glenelg Jetty, South Australia, for one of the swimmers below to retrieve.

Too bad we celebrate just Christmas Day in this country and not the whole season.

For 2009, I’m thinking about a trip to Mexico. Afterall, they celebrate Christmas all the way to Candlemas–February 2.

Written by Susan Gillie

January 21, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Posted in bloggage


I decided to feng shui my house and thought getting rid of clutter could enhance the chi. Then I watched one of those home improvement programs and found out the real problem.  I needed to fiip my kitchen.

Mark Bittman posted a Thanksgiving recipe on his blog, but his readers weren’t interested in turkey. They wanted to know how a professional food writer could cook in such a bad kitchen.

My kitchen is much worse. Bittman whines about bumping his shins on the dishwasher. I’m the only dishwasher and I’d kill for a garbage disposal. I’ve no counter space and one tiny cupboard.  I won’t even bother describing the wallpaper

My stove is a “vintage” Hardwick with a double oven. The burners are scary, but the bottom oven heats accurately and evenly. The top oven is too hard to keep in working order so I use it to store my Lodge frying pans..

My kitchen, like Mark Bittman’s, has a big window with a great view. I’d love to have a fancy kitchen, but don’t need one to cook well.

What I need is a better work flow, so I switched furniture. Out of the kitchen came a shelf and a small, drop-leaf table. In came the big, bulky dining room table which now functions as counter and prep space.

The worst space waster in my kitchen?

The microwave

On the off chance that I have to use it, it’s now in a side room.

What’s the one appliance I’d love to have? 

A hand-washing station

It blows my mind that people spend thousands of dollars on granite counter tops, then skip a hand washing station.

What’s wrong with home-improvement/kitchen design hustlers? How did they miss suckering homeowners into shelling out another five grand?

Written by Susan Gillie

November 30, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Posted in bloggage


While everyone is fussing about sweet potato souffle, the biggest news since the last tornado/flood/ruinous weather just hit the Midwest.

Murray Cheese, venerable New York/Greenich village, best-in-the world-cheese shop, is partnering with Krogers.

This week, the first store in Kenwood Towne Place Kroger store in Cincinnati, Ohio introduced the Murray cheese department. More stores will follow.

So, how long until Murray’s reaches Indy?

Written by Susan Gillie

November 23, 2008 at 4:28 am

Posted in bloggage

oh really?

Susan Guyett’s column in today’s Star brings happy news. A former Fountain Square favorite is opening shop on the eastside.

The problem? The headline and, oh yes, the copy.

November 5, 2008

Boner Center gets eatery

By Susan Guyett
There’s another reason for making your way to East 10th Street these days besides looking for treasures at Audrey’s Place.
Restaurateur Jeff Reuter opened a new eatery inside the John H. Boner Community Center in late September. J.S. Reutz Café, 2236 E. 10th St., is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m.If the name rings a bell, you might recall that Reuter co-owned Joe Reuzar’s Deli on Virginia Avenue in Fountain Square. It served great sandwiches and a variety of popular hot entrees, but closed in November 2004.
Anyone who has missed the twice-cooked mashed potatoes they used to order at the old place or liked his meatloaf more than their own mother’s, will be happy to know both dishes can sometimes be found on the menu at the new place.
Some of Reuter’s most popular sandwich creations also are served at the new restaurant, including his Reuben and turkey melt. 


Did somebody get carried away with spellcheck? Even though it’s late Sunday evening, Star staff haven’t corrected the typos.

Not to worry, in this era of citizen journalists, a reader caught on::

I’ve heard there are some magnificient erections to be admired down at the BonerCommunityCenter.

 Wonder how much longer it’s going to be up (pun intended)?

The good news? It’ll boost restaurant trafflic.

Written by Susan Gillie

November 17, 2008 at 12:06 am

Posted in bloggage

It’s official, no artificial

Written by Susan Gillie

November 15, 2008 at 11:29 pm

Posted in bloggage

Getting ready for turkey day

Our national sport of over-indulging from late November until Superbowl Sunday is about to begin. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away.

Don’t Want to Cook?

You’re over extended, you’ve stretched multi-tasking beyond its limits. Or, you’re too bored or too lazy to cook-and you’re still financially solvent-then head out to a restaurant.

Ted’s Montana Grill is waiting for you. They’re serving a traditional turkey meal ($13.99 per person), along with steaks, burgers and bison. As they say, “There’ll be something for everyone at Ted’s this Thanksgiving.”

Cooking Lessons

Feeling overwhelmed with all the Thanksgiving recipes? The internet’s supposed to make life faster and easier, but the sheer volume of crapola can make a cook’s life complicated.

Who knew cranberry sauce could be so involved? How many bunches of fresh herbs does it take to brine a turkey?

Well, thank your lucky stars you live in Indianapolis. Now you can meet real people, doing real cooking. Adobe Grill is offering cooking lessons, just in time for the holiday season.

Have some fun learning how to prepare a special Adobo Grill Thanksgiving menu during the restaurant’s cooking class at Adobo Grill, 110 East Washington St., at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, November 20.

Attendees will learn how to make Adobo marinated turkey, with classic mole poblano, chorizo-corn bread stuffing, chipotle sweet potato mash and fresh corn esquites.

Additionally, Adobo Grill will give out recipes and a shopping list so attendees can cook up their own Adobo-style Thanksgiving dishes at home.

Walk away from the computer, ditch the recipes and Saveur magazine and have fun at Adobo. Besides, you’ll end up knowing how to make turkey mole. The cost of the class? $24.99 per person.

Last Day

Tomorrow (Saturday, November 15) is the last day to order Gunthorp Farms Heritage Turkeys from Goose the Market. Make me proud, Hoosiers, and support an independent, Indiana farm family.

While you’re ordering your bird, check Chris Eley’s turkey brining video. Do we have a star in our midst?

Live on the east/south side of Indy and want to buy your bird closer to home?  Kevin and Anthony at Edibles are offering Gunthrop Farms turkey. Also, they’ll have a stash of Pumpkin Gelato for sale.




Written by Susan Gillie

November 14, 2008 at 3:31 pm

Posted in bloggage

Sorry, no comment

If you’re registered on this site and can’t comment, my apologies.

This blog is temporarily under construction. Spambots have taken over, and I’m trying to figure out how to stop them. Your comments are valued, though. Just email me (susan@

Written by Susan Gillie

November 14, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Posted in bloggage


What is it about late August/early September that makes sitting in front of a computer so difficult? Living in the Midwest, we cherish our summers.

Feral Swine

Anthony Bourdain, bad-boy culinarian and host of No Reservations, went to Spain to kill a pig. Wincy, mincy Michael Pollan, author of Ominivore’s Dilemma, trekked through the woods in search of a boar.

Now’s your chance to get in on the action. Michigan has a wild pig crisis. Seems the Ted Nugent God/Guns/Guts crowd set up their own wild-game hunting preserves. The mean little piggies escape, “reproduce like rabbits,” roam in packs and tear up the neighborhood. Farmers describe them as “four-legged vacuum cleaners.”

Time to git your gun and head up north.


I work on the IUPUI campus, a culinary wasteland. Although the student union recently opened, it’s airport-terminal food, pretty packaging, boring, tasteless food. With the economy in the tank, six bucks for cardboard sushi just isn’t cutting it anymore.

In this week’s Washington Post column, Cooking for One, Joe Yonan devises fresh salads with noodles and grain to offset sandwich fatigue. Taking inspiration from a Heidi Swanson 101 Cookbook recipe he creates simple, tasty recipes like Spicy Almond Soba Noodles with Edamame and Cous-Cous Turkey Salad.

It’s easy to take the ideas in the article and improvise. I have packages of asian noodles (I always think I’m going to make spring rolls or Pad Thai) that fit nicely with a basil/tomoato salad.

Off to work, enjoy the day.

Written by Susan Gillie

September 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Posted in bloggage

Summer Vacation

Last Sunday kicked off Going Local Week. Don’t think I haven’t been doing anything (I have) or that I sneaked off to eat Gummy Sour Vampire Bats (I did), but writing for the cause is hard.

Not that buying and cooking delicious food is a curse or a cross-to-bear,  it’s not, but it’s a lot like writing What I Did on My Summer Vacation. You know, I went here, I bought this, I made that, it was all delicious. Maybe it’s because I am on vacation.

Ratatouille Ribeye

Stopping by the farmer’s market, I picked up a bag of veggies. After that, it was off to lunch at Oceaniare with my friend Cheryl Pleak-Copeland who handed me a big bag of her tomatoes. Arriving home was another bag, a gift from a neighbor, hanging on my doorknob.

Until last summer, when the movie came out, I hadn’t thought about ratatouille in years. I remember it as gaggy, part-and-parcel of the 70’s pantheon of bad taste, plaid polyester pants, white belts, ‘ploitaton films, Donny and Marie.

Going through dozens of cookbooks, I found all kinds of ways to cook eggplant stew. This recipe is my spin on the classic.

High Season

I have so many tomatoes. Heirloom tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes and regular old, I-don’t-know-what-they-are-tomatoes. They are all local, some traveling 10-feet from my kitchen window. It’s best to wash them, put them on cookie sheets, sprinkle on a little salt and sugar and let them slow cook in the oven at a low temperature. 

It seemed a waste, though, and instead Going Local turned into sauce week. Some tomatoes became Italian sauce, some became Mexican salsa, others are destined for an experiment in making marmelade. The ripest, more flavorful tomatoes were sacrificial lambs to the gods-of-aspic.

I cannot say enough about Tomato Aspic. Maybe because it’s made at peak tomato season, using the plumpest, ripest tomatoes.

Chop up the tomatoes and cook in a saucepan for 20 minutes along with bay leaf, peppercorns, finely chopped onions and celery, garlic, salt and water. Strain the mixture and add a seasoning base of cider vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt. As the mixture cools, add unflavored gelatin and pour into mold(s).

The recipe’s from The Gift of Southern Cooking by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock. Anyone who loves local, seasonal food should own this book.

Slow, Slow, Slow

Friday evening, Erin Morgan and Laura Henderson hosted a Slow Foods function at their yoga/pilates studio, Invoke. Laura conducted a slow-flow class, followed by a conversation with local farmers and a picnic-style dinner from Goose the Market.

Check out the latest issue of Urban Times and read Laura’s article on local foods.

Written by Susan Gillie

September 6, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Posted in bloggage