Retro Recipes: Marilyn Monroe's Sourdough Stuffing

Retro Recipes: Marilyn Monroe's Sourdough Stuffing

Anjali Prasertong
Nov 12, 2010

Did you know Marilyn Monroe could cook? In this week's New York Times, Matt and Ted Lee reconstructed her unusual stuffing recipe from a list of ingredients and instructions scribbled on a piece of insurance company letterhead, giving us a glimpse into the kitchen of a woman they believe was a confident and experienced cook.

Marilyn Monroe's stuffing recipe starts with soaking and wringing out a loaf of sourdough bread, an unusual step that ultimately produces a stuffing with "superior" texture, despite its lack of a binder like broth, fat or egg. Also notable is its large number of ingredients — including three types of nuts, five herbs and spices and three different meats — and the sheer amount of time involved.

More than two hours passed as we soaked and shredded sourdough (to be fair, soggy sourdough nearly shreds itself), peeled hard-boiled eggs, simmered livers in water, browned the beef, cracked pepper, chopped and measured. When the ingredients were finally laid out, they filled 15 ramekins and bowls. Did Marilyn really have this much time on her hands?

But in the end, it is an excellent stuffing, both good-looking and delicious, proof of Marilyn's cooking expertise. Curious about the origins of the recipe, the Lee brothers talk to a food historian, who helps them identify the possible influences for this unique stuffing.

Read full article: Marilyn Monroe's Stuffing Recipe Stars in a Remake

Whether you are a Marilyn fan, a history buff or a recipe geek, this article is a fascinating read. Have you ever reconstructed an old recipe?

Related: A Stuffing Smackdown: The Quest for the Perfect Recipe

(Image: Flickr member licensed under Creative Commons)

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