Bring back the nostalgia of the 1950s with a retro diner-inspired dinner paty. After all, who can resist a flavoursome and juicy home-made burger or double-thick malted milkshake?
Go retro with nostalgia for the 1950s and a diner-style menu.
Set the scene
Host a fun party with a 1950s theme. Combine vintage décor items with cheerful diner elements to capture the feel of the Elvis era. Mix ice-cream colours with red and silver for a playful jukebox-joint look. Some rock-and-roll and doo-wop music is all you need to get the party going!
20ml olive oil
Prepare a selection of delicious sandwiches or burgers, or you can offer both, depending on how big your dinner party is. If you prefer, you can cook the burgers on the braai. Have a selection of different toppings set out in bowls so your guests can help themselves and build their own burgers. Serve the burgers with potato chips and onion rings on the side. For the dessert, you can choose if you would like to make just one or let your guests order which of the three ice-cream dessert options they would prefer.
Fill a paper packet with marshmallows or other sweets. Type or write all the party information, such as date, time and address, on paper, cut it out and stick it onto the packet. Decorate with a matching card and ribbon, if you prefer.
Makes: 6-8 Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus refrigeration time Cooking time: about 15 minutes
1 onion, finely chopped
750g beef mince
5ml French mustard
handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
15ml tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 large egg yolk
salad, to serve
potato chips and onion rings, to serve
1 Heat the olive oil and fry the onion until soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. 2 Mix the mince, mustard, parsley, tomato sauce and egg yolk together. Add the onion and season to taste. Shape into balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. 3 Flatten into patties and cook on a griddle pan or under a grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side.
4 Grill the insides of the hamburger buns. Spread with mayonnaise. Add the cooked patty and salad or topping of your choice (see page 43). Serve immediately with chips and deep-fried onion rings alongside.
CLUB SANDWICH: You will need 3 slices white bread, mayonnaise, 4 slices roast chicken breast, 8 slices crisp, cooked streaky bacon, tomato slices and cos lettuce leaves. Toast the bread lightly. Spread generously with mayonnaise. Top the first slice with chicken and lettuce, then a slice of toast, then bacon, lettuce and tomato. Cover with a slice of toast. (Add an extra layer with avocado slices, if you prefer. Try adding a little freshly chopped coriander and chilli paste to the mayonnaise for a variation). BLT: Same as the club, but with bacon, lettuce and tomato only, and no chicken. CURRIED CHICKEN AND CRANBERRY: Mix 250ml shredded cooked chicken meat with 65ml mayonnaise, 20ml chopped dried cranberries, 1 chopped spring onion, 3ml curry masala powder and 20ml chopped celery. Spread on the bread of your choice.
Pulled pork sandwich Preparation time: 40 minutes Cooking time: 4 hours Oven temperature: 150°C
1 can beer
100ml dark brown sugar
15ml sweet paprika
5ml ground coriander
1ml ground cumin
2ml freshly ground black pepper
2ml cayenne pepper
2ml dried mustard
2kg bone-in pork shoulder or 1,4kg
40ml Worcestershire sauce
250ml tomato sauce (ketchup)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
60ml cider vinegar
slices of bread, to serve
coleslaw, to serve (see page 45)
1 Mix 10ml salt, 45ml of the sugar, and the spices and mustard together. Rub all over the meat. Cover and set aside for an hour or refrigerate overnight.
2 Pour the beer into a roasting tin. Add the pork and cover. Roast in a preheated oven for 3-4 hours, until the meat is tender enough to pull apart. Remove from the oven, drain off the liquid and set the meat aside for 30 minutes. Use two forks to pull the meat into shreds. 3 SAUCE Heat the remaining sugar and the Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, garlic and vinegar together. Simmer for 20 minutes. Stir into the pork. Serve warm or cold on bread topped with a spoonful of coleslaw.
Makes: 6-8 Preparation time: 10 minutes, plus refrigeration time Cooking time: about 15 minutes
750g lamb mince
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5ml grated fresh ginger
25ml freshly chopped coriander
5ml ground coriander
1 fresh chilli, seeded and chopped
hamburger buns, to serve
mayonnaise, to serve
1 Mix all the ingredients together and season to taste. Roll into balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. 2 Flatten into patties and cook on the griddle pan or under the grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. Spread the buns with mayonnaise, add the patties and serve with the toppings of your choice.
Toppings for burgers
CHEESE AND CARAMELISED ONION: Add a slice of Cheddar cheese, caramelised red onion, sliced tomato and lettuce. If you prefer, use two burger patties to make a double burger.
CHEESE AND PICKLE: Add grated mature Cheddar cheese, sliced gherkins and grilled or fresh tomato slices. CHILLI: Make a salsa by mixing equal amounts of finely chopped seeded red pepper and jalapeño peppers together. Add a little finely chopped onion, fresh coriander or parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Spoon onto the burger. MUSHROOM: Heat 40ml butter and fry a clove of crushed garlic for 30 seconds. Add 250g sliced mushrooms and fry until tender. Season with salt and black pepper. Spoon onto the burger patty and add fresh rocket. SPICY AVOCADO: Add slices of ripe avocado, grilled pieces of bacon and spicy mayonnaise.
A slider is a mini version of a burger. You can make a variety of flavours of sliders so that your guests can try two or three options instead of just one larger burger.
Candied bacon salad with creamy dressing
Serves: 4 Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Oven temperature: 200°C
4 thick slices of white country-type
bread (preferably stale)
60ml olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
2ml dried thyme
50g blue cheese or use feta, crumbled
60ml good-quality creamy mayonnaise
7,5ml lemon juice
250g streaky bacon
50ml brown sugar
4-6 baby gem lettuce, cut into halves or
3-4 medium-sized ripe tomatoes, cut
1 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed or
½ medium-sized red onion, cut into
1 CROUTONS Cut the bread into cubes. Mix the olive oil, garlic and thyme together. Season with salt and white pepper. Drizzle over the bread cubes and toss to coat well. Spread out the bread
on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, until crisp. Toss the cubes once during cooking. Remove from the oven and cool. 2 DRESSING Whisk the dressing ingredients together. 3 SALAD Spread the bacon out on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Return to the oven and cook for another 5 minutes until the sugar has candied. Remove from the oven and cool, then tear or cut into smaller pieces. 4 Place the lettuce, tomato, avocado and onion into serving bowls. Add the croutons and the bacon. Drizzle with the dressing and serve immediately.
Slice 2-3 medium-sized onions into rings. Mix 125ml flour, 2ml salt and 2,5ml baking powder together. Whisk 1 large egg and 125ml milk together. Stir into the dry ingredients. Dip the onion rings into the batter and then deep-fry in medium-hot oil until golden. Drain on absorbent paper. Sprinkle with salt and serve hot.
Mix together 500g finely shredded green or purple cabbage (or use half of each, if you prefer), 1 large peeled and grated carrot, 1 small finely chopped onion, half a green pepper (seeded and finely diced) and a handful of chopped pecan nuts. Add 1ml celery seeds, 250ml mayonnaise and 25ml apple-cider vinegar and mix well.
Hot fudge sundae
Makes: 4 Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes
vanilla ice cream
100ml chopped pecan nuts
whipped cream, to serve
maraschino cherries, to serve
HOT FUDGE SAUCE
60ml cocoa powder
40ml golden syrup
Make flower ‘milkshakes’ for your table setting, to add to the 1950s theme. Spray paint the inside of a sundae glass pale pink and leave to dry. Arrange white or pink flowers in the glass and add a matching coloured straw for a quirky touch.
75ml evaporated milk
2,5ml vanilla essence
1 SAUCE Combine all the ingredients except the butter and vanilla in a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Once it begins to simmer, remove from the heat and stir in the butter and the vanilla essence.
2 To serve, place a little hot fudge sauce and some nuts at the bottom of a sundae glass. Fill the glass with ice cream. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with nuts. Drizzle with hot fudge sauce and top with a maraschino cherry. Serve immediately.
Strawberry malt shake
Blend about 350ml vanilla ice cream, 100ml milk, 6 fresh chopped strawberries and 30ml malt powder (Horlicks) together in a food processor or liquidiser until smooth. Drizzle the inside of a milkshake glass with strawberry flavoured syrup. Pour in the milkshake. Top with whipped cream, crushed chocolate malt balls and pink cake sprinkle decorations.
Pour your favourite fizzy drink into a tall glass and stir well to get rid of most of the gas. Carefully add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the glass. Serve immediately.
Texan-style barbeque pork roast with corn salsa
Serves: 8 Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus standing time Cooking time: 3 hours Oven temperature: 180oc
1 deboned pork neck (about 1,4kg)
5ml cayenne pepper
5ml mustard powder
30ml brown sugar
sweetcorn salsa, to serve
corn tortillas and coleslaw, to serve
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 pickled jalapeño pepper,
250ml tomato ketchup
125ml apple juice
60ml cider vinegar
5ml chipotle chilli paste (optional)
7ml celery seeds
2-5ml dried crushed chillies
2ml ground cumin
15ml Worcestershire sauce
1 Mix the cayenne pepper, mustard powder and half the paprika and brown sugar together in a small bowl. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Rub all over the pork neck. Set aside for an hour or two. 2 Place the pork on a rack over a roasting pan. Drizzle with a little oil and roast in a preheated oven for 30 minutes. 3 BARBEQUE SAUCE Heat 30ml oil in a saucepan and add the onion. Sauté over a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic. Sauté for a further 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients as well as the remaining half of the paprika and brown sugar. Simmer for 10 minutes. 4 Take the pork out of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 130oc. Remove the rack from under the pork. Put the pork into the roasting tin and pour the barbeque sauce over it. Cover tightly with aluminium foil. 5 Return to the oven and roast slowly for 2-2½ hours until the meat is very tender. 6 Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Serve sliced with the sauce from the roasting tin on the side. Enjoy wrapped in a corn tortilla with corn salsa and extra sauce and coleslaw on the side.
SWEETCORN SALSA Mix together the corn from 2 cooked cobs of sweetcorn, 3 tomatoes that have been peeled, seeded and chopped, 1 small chopped red onion, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1-2 chopped fresh chillies, 45ml chopped fresh coriander, 30ml sunflower oil, 30ml cider vinegar and salt to taste.