Yesterday's Menus

Cooking up retro menus from vintage cookbooks

1965 Betty’s Dinner Fiesta

on February 12, 2015


Sombrero Pie

Avocado-Orange Salad

Ripe and Green Olives

Scoops of Assorted Fruit Sherberts

Chocolate Sauce     Coffee

Dinner in a Dish

This “internationally inspired” menu comes from the 1965 Betty Crocker’s Dinner in a Dish.  From the cover of this cookbook, I assumed there would be some sort of chafing dish required, but no.  This book has dinners in any old type of dish.  Despite the lack of real theme, this one is full of easy retro dishes.

I selected Sombrero Pie for the name alone.  I mean, Sombrero Pie?  Betty, you’re clever and you can cook.  Also, you don’t exist.

Betty’s version:


Without further ado, the results:


My rating? Total home-run.  This is a great combination of easy and family friendly.  Even for the pastry-challenged (ahem, me), this cornmeal pastry was super easy to work with and had an excellent, corn-y texture.  The salad and olives matched well with the dish.

I did skip the chocolate sauce and coffee but had some mango sorbet for dessert which was nice and light after a heavier main dish.  Quite a successful meal in my opinion.  Brava Betty!

Sombrero Pie

1/2 lb. ground beef

1/2 lb. ground fresh pork

1 large onion, sliced

1 can (1 lb. 4 oz) tomato juice

1 can (12 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained, or 1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen corn

1 to 2 TBSP chili powder

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook and stir meat and onion in large skillet until onion is tender and meat is browned.  Stir in tomato juice, corn, and seasonings.  Simmer 10 min.  Pour bubbly hot meat mixture into oblong baking dish, 11 1/2 x 7 1/2 x 1 1/2″.  Cover with pastry.  Bake 30 to 35 min.  4 to 6 servings. 

Cornmeal Pastry:

1 1/4 c. Gold Medal Flour (regular or Wondra)

1/2 c. cornmeal

1 tsp. salt

1/2 c. salad oil

3 TBSP. cold water

Mix flour, cornmeal, and salt.  Mix in oil until mixture looks like fine crumbs.  Sprinkle with water and mix with fork.  Press firmly into a ball.  If too dry to form ball, work in 1 to 2 TBSP. more oil.  Roll pastry between two sheets of waxed paper into a rectangle, 12 x 7″.  Peel off top paper and invert pastry on meat mixture.  Peel off second piece of waxed paper; cut 3 or 4 slits near center of pastry.

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