In 1977 the Hunt Wesson Test Kitchens put together this unassuming little spiral-bound cookbook which sold for $1.99. Entitled Hunt's Tomato Paste Recipe Collection Cookbook, you might be lead to believe, incorrectly, that it's limited in scope. Aside from the variety of recipes for salads, sauces, ethnic dishes and "comfort food" style main dishes, there are even a few dessert recipes. What a surprise to find directions for Mahogany Cake, Brownie Drops and Pennsylvania Dutch Tomato Pie!
The Mexican and Oriental recipes are plentiful and have colorful photos to tempt the reader. It's a timely book for today's frugal cook as there are meatless dishes, bean dishes, pasta meals and many using polenta , barley, hominy and rice. It supplies recipes to feed a crowd, so you might find it useful if you're preparing a family reunion or other big get together. You'll find Sloppy Joes for 75, Spaghetti Meat Sauce for Fifty and Buckets of Barbecue Sauce.
As I've mentioned, I think this cookbook is relevant to the way we eat today. I found a few recipes that sounded like they came right from the recent popular cooking shows (with their celebrity chefs). For example there's Mediterranean Fish Rolls, Vegetarian Lasagna, Italian Sandwich Pockets (in pita bread) and Garbanzo Salad. You should start your search for this small cookbook now, the ISBN is 0-87469-015-3. I found mine at a Super Goodwill store for fifty cents! Our sample recipe is from page 80:
1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained
2 (2 1/4 oz.) cans sliced ripe olives, drained
1 C chopped green pepper
2/3 C chopped Bermuda onion
3/4 C Tangy Tomato Herb Dressing
Toss all ingredients, except dressing, in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss until well-mixed. Cover; refrigerate 2 to 3 hours before serving. Makes 4 cups.
Tangy Tomato-Herb Dressing
3/4 C red wine vinegar
1/3 C brown sugar, packed
1 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp each: celery seed, dill weed, paprika and salt
1/4 tsp each; garlic powder and basil
1 1/4 C vegetable oil
1 (6 oz.) can Hunt's Tomato Paste
In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar and spices to a boil. Cool 10 min., add oil and Hunt's Tomato Paste. Stir or beat until creamy.Refrigerate. Mix before using. Makes 2 2/3 cups.