Sunday, June 5, 2016

Pea Soup Andersen's Cookbook

Andersen's Restaurant was founded in Buellton, California in 1924 by Anton Andersen, from Denmark, and his wife Juliette, from France.  The original name was "Andersen's Electric Cafe", for their new electric stove.  It was a popular stop near a busy highway and they expanded regularly, adding a hotel and dining room.  In 1947 the name was changed to Pea Soup Andersen's, after the all-you-can-eat soup that had been in demand since they put it on the menu, 3 months after they opened the cafe.

The restaurant stayed in the family until 1965, but it still exists today in Buellton and another location in Santa Nella.  They have a website.

The cookbook came out in 1988, when I found it in a local gift shop.  I'm not sure why that particular shop was carrying it, but there it was. Maybe the "Scandinavian-American" connection? It's a pleasant little cookbook, with the story of the restaurant and odd facts and ephemera scattered between the recipes, along with plenty of pictures of Hap-Pea and Pea-Wee, who have been representing the restaurant since 1946.

With all this talk about their pea soup, I must have tried the recipe, right?  Well,  It's in here, and I'll gladly give it to you in either the 6-8 bowl or 850 bowl form.  Or if you'd like, you can order it from Amazon, as Andersen's has been selling it canned for a long time.

Andersen's Split Pea Soup at Amazon

Instead, Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce!

Chicken with Creamy Mustard Sauce

2 whole chicken breasts, boned and skinned (4 halves)
3 tablespoons butter
3 to 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon shallots or onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 pint heavy cream
Flour for dredging
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon (1/2 teaspoon dried, crumbled)
Fresh parsley for garnish

Pound the chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper until they are about 1/2 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper and spread about half the mustard on each side of the breasts. Dredge in flour.

In a large skillet, heat the butter, add the chicken, and brown over moderately high heat, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Add shallots to the skillet, sauté briefly, and add wine.

Cook until liquid is nearly evaporated, scraping lose any bits of meat stuck to the skillet.

Add the rest of the mustard, tarragon, and heavy cream. Simmer for 1 to 2 more minutes. Add more mustard if necessary, and adjust seasonings. Garnish with parsley when served.

Four servings.

For a completely different taste but equally as good a dish, omit mustard and tarragon and use 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder instead.

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