The Most Under-Appreciated Recipes of the 1970s: Food Writers Share Their Secret Favorites

Recipes of the Decades

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Retro Find: The 1971 Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library

This week we are talking about the recipes that defined the decades, those dishes that may no longer be popular, but still hold a special place in our hearts (and bellies). Yesterday we we were all about green Jell-O and onion soup dip when we talked to food writers about their favorite under-appreciated recipes of the 60s, and today we're onto the decade with possibly the most unappealing food photography in history: the 1970s!

Baked Alaska, Crock-Pot classics and Impossible Taco Pie — these are just a few of the 70s recipes food writers still hold dear.

Baked Alaska. Reduced, like a lounge singer, to cruise ship work, Baked Alaska is actually a wonderful dessert. Both a serving spectacle and a daring challenge for a cook, what can be better than caramelized meringue swaddling a bundle of ice cream? — Amanda Hesser, co-founder of Food52 and author of The Essential New York Times Cookbook

Make-ahead layered salads. I think they were mixed for serving. I know a lot of retro recipes were pretty awful, but I remember that salad being decent. And it was about that time that Bisquick came out with all of their "impossible" pies where you threw everything in a pie dish and it layered itself while it baked. I recall being quite fond of the Impossible Taco Pie. — Donna Currie, author of the forthcoming Make Ahead Bread

The Bacardi Rum Cake. I swear my parents threw parties just to serve that cake. Also mini cherry cheesecakes — the kind that were made in small cupcake liners and topped with one canned cherry — were on lots of party trays. Oh, and how could I forget? Braunschweiger balls coated in a thin layer of cream cheese, sometimes studded with sliced green olives. — Pamela Braun of My Man's Belly

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Taco Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

Taco salad, which was big in the mid-1970s (at least in the Midwest). — Beth Fish of Beth Fish Reads

MONTE CRISTOS! I used to order them when Mom would take my brothers and me to Blum's in downtown San Francisco, where we would eat Monte Cristo sandwiches followed by another fave, Coffee Crunch Cake. — Rick Rodgers, author of The Model Bakery Cookbook

Anything in a Crock-Pot — which was introduced in the early 70s! — Cynthia Graubart, author of Slow Cooking for Two

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Slow Cooker Recipe: Savory Maple & Dijon Pot Roast

What are your favorite under-appreciated recipes of the 1970s?

(Image credits: The Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library; Megan Gordon; Nealey Dozier)

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