Cooking With the Stars

November 26, 2013

Are you looking forward to a holiday party with friends and family, but stumped on what to bring? Have no fear—the Dance Magazine archives have come to your rescue.


In January 1961, American Ballet Theatre ballerina Lupe Serrano (who continues to be an inspiring teacher) was Dance Magazine‘s “Cook of the Month,” offering the recipe for pastel de choclo, a Chilean corn pudding, which she learned from her mother. She also gives some advice for making an entire evening come together:


For a dinner party, Lupe starts with a shrimp cocktail, then pastel de choclo, accompanied by a light rosé wine, followed by an avocado pear and mixed green salad, topped off with cheese and fruit. After a half-hour rest, Lupe serves some sweet cakes and espresso coffee.

1 lb. ground round steak
1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup small, green, unpitted olives (“Lupe doesn’t mind the olive pits—they make such wonderful conversation pieces.”)

1/2 cup seedless raisins

2 hard boiled eggs, quartered

juice of one garlic clove

dash of salt

ground pepper to taste

1 beaten egg

10 ears of corn (not too young), or enough to make 3 cups of grated kernels.

2 tablespoons flour

2 or three teaspoons sugar


(Pictured: Serrano in costume for
Don Q, Photo by Maurice Seymour, DM Archives.)


DIRECTIONS: Sauté chopped onion in olive oil until brown, then add meat. Break it up and cook slowly for 1/2 hour. Stir until brown and separated. Add raisins, olives, garlic juice, ground pepper and salt.

     Grate corn. Add flour, sugar and salt to taste, and cook slowly in skillet over low fire. Stir constantly to prevent sticking. Cook until mixture begins to dry and thicken, usually about 10 or 15 minutes. Then add well-beaten egg, mix and pour into casserole dish over meat and hard boiled eggs.

     Sprinkle a little sugar on top to make crust and cook in medium oven (350º) for about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes or until brown on top. It should bubble towards the end. Serves 4 to 6. Can be heated as leftover.


The November 1967 issue included an excerpt from Tanaquil LeClercq‘s Ballet Cook Book, which was published in 1966. The book features recipes from LeClercq’s family, as well as other New York City Ballet legends, including Balanchine, Melissa Hayden and Edward Villella. Dance Magazine‘s excerpt highlighted LeClercq’s instructions for guacamole, mushroom broth, swordfish tarragon, chicken breasts vermouth, celery root soufflé and egg nog.


I find her recipe for guacamole most fascinating.


2 small ripe avocados
1 tbs. lemon juice

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. mayonnaise
2 tsp. grated onion

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. pepper

1/2 tsp. paprika

Pare avocado and mash pulp with a fork. Add lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mayonnaise, onion, and continue to mash until smooth. Stir in seasonings and mix well. Place in a covered container with avocado seed on top to keep mixture from darkening. Refrigerate. Serve as an appetizer with crackers. Yields about 1 cup.


And since it is egg nog season, this is “Great-Great-Grandmother Blackwell’s Eggnog


12 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups bourbon whisky

3/4 cup St. Croix rum

1 quart heavy cream, whipped

Beat egg yolks and sugar until light and sugar has melted completely. Add whisky and rum and continue beating 3–4 minutes. Stir in the whipped cream and mix thoroughly. Place in refrigerator and chill until ready to serve.


Want more? Brooklyn-based writer Ryan Wenzel and current NYCB soloist Antonio Carmena got their hands on LeClercq’s book, and have hosted a series of dinner parties using its contents. They blog about the meals, and reprint the recipes. Check it out here. And stay tuned for more recipes from the Dance Magazine archives—Nutcracker treats from the ’80s.


Happy Thanksgiving!