Friday, October 7, 2011

Dinner and a Movie: House on Haunted Hill

Welcome to Week 1 of a special all-Vincent month on Dinner and a Movie! That's right--all the movies for Dinner and a Movie this month star Vincent Price and all the meals are going to be adapted from his cookbook, A Treasury of Great Recipes. I'm so excited! This week, I've made Vincent Price's Kedgeree, which is based on the recipe from London's The Ivy. A product of the empire, Kedgeree (to quote Vincent) "originated, I believe, in Singapore."

The Ivy (p.151 of A Treasury of Great Recipes)

Kedgeree is great if you're in a bit of a hurry, because a lot of the work can be done in advance. The salmon can be leftovers from another meal, or you can poach it (Vincent says you can used canned salmon, but I was a bit afraid so I poached some myself) and keep it in the fridge. The hardboiled eggs can also be stored in the refrigerator. AND, if you want to be a totally-got-it-together 1960s housewife, you can prep the base for the curry béchamel (everything but the milk) and keep that in the fridge or freezer. In which case, you will feel so efficient there will be no stopping you and I would most definitely take you out for a drink to celebrate.


1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 onion, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 lb cooked salmon, flaked
2 hardboiled eggs, quartered
fresh parsley, minced

Curry béchamel:
1 tablespoon very soft unsalted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon curry powder*
1 cup milk

In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When the foam just starts to subside, add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, turning down the heat if necessary to keep the onion from browning. Add the salt and rice and stir to coat the rice in the butter, then pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and simmer, covered, for thirty minutes. Make sure the rice continues to simmer and be sure not to stir. After 30 minutes, remove the pilaf from the heat, fluff with a fork, cover, and let sit 5 minutes.

To make the curry béchamel, mix together the softened butter, flour, salt, pepper and curry powder. Set aside. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until it steams and whisk in the butter/flour mixture until it's lump free. Turn the heat up to high, continue whisking and bring the sauce to a boil and boil one minute.

To assemble Kedgeree (see this illustrated below), divide the pilaf between two plates, top with salmon, surround with egg and cover with béchamel. Top with minced parsley. Enjoy immediately!

Serves 2

Adapted from "Kedgeree of Salmon" in Mary and Vincent Price, A Treasury of Great Recipes (Ampersand Press, Inc., 1965), 158-159 and "Béchamel Sauce" in ibid., 424.

*The mixture I use is: 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder + 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder + 1/4 teaspoon ginger + 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander + 1/4 teaspoon cumin + dash of cayenne pepper

Download printable version

1. Pilaf on plate? Check.
2. Top with flaked salmon.
3. Surround with quartered hardboiled egg.
4. Cover with curry béchamel and sprinkle with parsley. Done!


This one is great fun. Vincent Price and Carol Ohmart play an unhappily married couple, who have invited strangers to a party in an abandoned, supposedly haunted house. I think it's one of the better low-budget offerings of the period and I like that it's really more "suspense" than "horror." I enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on along with the characters. Also, some of the banter between Vincent Price and Carol Ohmart is darkly humorous. However, there's only one thing that bothered me and I think that's because I'm the daughter of an architect: the "exterior" and "interior" of the house don't match. The interior looks like it might go with the house in the poster, but not the house actually used in the film (which you might recognize from The Rocketeer). Ah, well. We can't have everything, especially for only $200,000
Last, but certainly not least: Carol Ohmart showing us what "slutty" looked like in 1959--pretty darn fabulous if you ask me.

House on Haunted Hill airs October 17th at 8:30 p.m. CST. It's also currently available from IMDB and Netflix Watch Instantly. Also on DVD.

Next week: The Masque of the Red Death
Be sure to visit Jenny, who never waits for October to roll around to cook like Vincent Price!

House on Haunted Hill screen caps are mine; poster, Vincent Price portrait, and interior shot are from Doctor Macro.


  1. oh. my. gosh. that looks delicious. like, active drooling kind of delicious.

  2. I love Vincent Price, but I have to admit I haven't seen this movie yet, although it's a classic! Shame on me... And wow, if that's supposed to be slutty... what would people of those days think of contemporary movies/TV :D. How times change... She looks amazing, 'slutty' or not. :)

  3. That looks so tasty! Carol Ohmart = I wish I looked like that!

  4. After his spineless and memorable gigolo role in "Laura," I sometimes forget that Price got his second career wind in the bloodies. I think "Edward Scissorhands" was one of his last appearances in film and one of his best. He was perfect in that, quirky but a little poignant. Thanks for sharing his recipe.

    P.S. - Ohmart does look great, but I guess that shiny bustier was daring for the times. Ella Raines' stint as a tramp in "Phantom Lady" is much more low down and cheap.

  5. What a lovely dish! I know I've cooked something from Vincent Price...but for the life of me, I can't remember what. It's funny that when I've mentioned him before to my children, I had to refer to his appearance in the Scooby Doo cartoons. And, you're right, slutty in 1959 is pretty fabulous! Have a great weekend~

  6. the food looks yummy dear! i love your blog <3

    follow me if you love to, and i'll follow you back :)

  7. You need to tell the story of how we acquired your copy of Vincent's cookbook! And yes, that does sound like your Dad - there we are enjoying a movie and he has to tell me what's wrong with it! Love watching movies with him anyway...

  8. Wendy @ The Dandy BohemianOctober 9, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    YOUR BLOG LOOKS AMAZING!!!!!! :D Everything about this recipe-movie combo is perfect! Thank you for the great idea - Vincent price should be a given this time of year but it never came to my mind. The Kedgeree looks delicious - dying to try the curry béchamel!

  9. Thanks Wendy! The curry béchamel can go on all kinds of things--chicken, fish, vegetables. It's very versatile!

  10. Love this dinner and a movie series and yes, Carol is slutty fabulous.

  11. Looks like a delicious kedgeree. I would never be organised enough to prep it in advance!

  12. I'm not sure I want to reveal how devious we can be when teamed up. The universe is not prepared! :-)

  13. Hi Lauren,
    What a fun post and the food is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe with Full Plate Thursday. Hope you will have a fabulous week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

  14. Oh yummy yummy, this looks amazing. Mmmmmmmm, will have to try this one - Jenny x

  15. I love Vincent Price! So perfect for this month. And my stomach is rumbling looking at your kedgeree. I haven't had breakfast yet and wish I had this in front of me now!

  16. The curry in this recipe seems kinda rough, but everything else looks so good that I've got to give it a try.

  17. Hi Lauren, it's quite a number of years since I made a kedgeree and I think it is time I made another one. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I recently found your blog and am now a follower. Please pop on over to my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. I would love that. Hugs, Chris


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