Berghoff Family Cookbook

My mother is in a book club and a few months ago the club chose to read the Berghoff Family Cookbook: From Our Table to Yours, Celebrating a Century of Entertaining. This book is filled with family history, anecdotes about entertaining, and recipes.

If you are not familiar with the Berghoff, here is a quick history. Herman Joseph Berghoff, a German immigrant, began selling beer out of Fort Wayne in the late 1800's. He wanted to expand and chose the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 to introduce his product to a larger market. His beer was well-received and he opened a cafe on State & Adams where beer was sold for a nickel and you received a free sandwich. (Ah, the gold old days). During Prohibition, Herman also developed one of my personal favorites, Berghoff's Root Beer. It was during this period that they moved one storefront down and opened a full-service restaurant serving traditional family recipes which are showcased in the Berghoff Family Cookbook.

During the holidays my mom was raving about the cookbook and its recipes so when I sat down to select a menu for last Saturday's Supper Club, I channeled classic Chicago and chose Berghoff recipes. The full menu is below:

Classic Vodka or Gin Martinis
Pistachio-Crusted Goat Cheese with Crackers, Smoked Almonds & Olives
Roasted Pork Tenderloin
Mashed Potatoes with White Wine Sauce
Creamed Spinach
Pistachio Cheesecake Squares

We were responsible for the appetizers, pork and potatoes. I was still working on the white wine sauce when the guests arrived. I tried to hide the fact that I was whisking 12 tablespoons of full butter into the sauce. I couldn't hide it so I just whisked away knowing that the fat would be worth the smooth and delicious sauce floating on top of our potatoes.

During dinner the guests shared their enthusiasm for the tenderloin, mainly due to its tenderness. This I attribute to the sauce ladled on top of the meat since I had almost overcooked the meat. I am filing this recipe away in my standby section of my recipes since it was simple and was so well-received.

While everyone chatted I concentrated on the creamed spinach, my favorite part of the meal. I had taken a nice-sized portion and tried to not make it disappear so quickly off my plate! Our friends were responsible for this dish and I was impressed. The texture was perfect and its flavor was savory and rich.

We topped the meal off with the pretty pistachio-dusted cheesecake squares (and more wine) and I now looking forward to the next Supper Club and being assigned my dish. Thanks to the Berghoff Family for a fun and delicious evening!

1 comment:

  1. That menu sounds superb - your supper club sounds like a fantastic idea.