Cooking For Don Draper

Top Chef Sea Bass

As I’ve said before, cooking late at night is risky because I tend not to pay attention to what I’m doing.  I’m too busy thinking about getting the cat off of my pillow so I can have visions of sugarplums, or Don Draper, dance through my head.

In my last minute rush to get the fish marinating before going to bed one night, I assumed that all the liquid ingredients got mixed together for the marinade.  It wasn’t until I went to cook it up the next day that I realized the vegetable oil was for the frying pan….oops.  I don’t think it made too much of a difference but this is just another reason why I have no business working in the kitchen after 9pm.  That late, my attention wanders to things like how in the world women got talked into stuffing themselves into girdles for decades.  I guess those Mad Men really can make just about anything sound like a good idea.

I imagine that Betty Draper would never serve up a dish that had anything as exotic as miso or mirin.  Although I can picture a big bottle of sherry on the bar somewhere between the bourbon and gin.  It’s a shame that Betty’s cooking isn’t a little edgier than meatloaf and pot roast because Top Chef Sea Bass might just have gotten Don to come home from the office a little more often in Season One and Two.

Top Chef Sea Bass


  • 6 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/4 cup miso paste
  • 1/4 cup terriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup sherry (mine was dry sherry and I used about 1/8 cup)
  • Two 6 ounce pieces sea bass, mahi mahi, or other firm fish
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Combine mirin, miso, teriyaki, and sherry in a bowl.  Place fish in a resealable plastic bag, add marinade, and refrigerate overnight.

In a medium frying pan, heat the oil over medium high.  Remove fish from the marinade, scraping off the excess, and pat dry.  Put the fish in the pan and cook, without turning, for three minutes until well browned on the bottom.  Turn and cook the other side for about 3 minutes, or until well browned and just cooked through.

If your fish is thick cut, brown both sides as described above and then place pan into a 350 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until fish is done.

{Printable Recipe}

Green Bean Salad with Feta and Lemon

Washington Post

This is a quick, easy side dish.  And probably closer to something  Don Draper might find on his plate.

  • 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, cut into small dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, or 1 tablespoon dried dill
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Prepare an ice water bath.

Bring a 4 quart pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the beans and cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until the beans are tender.  Immediately transfer them to the ice water bath and let cool for 5 minutes.  Dry the beans with a dish towel.

Transfer the beans to a large bowl.  Add the feta, dill, onion, lemon zest, and oil.  Toss to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve  immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 3 days.  Allow the salad to come to room temperature before serving.

{Printable Recipe}

3 thoughts on “Cooking For Don Draper

  1. I put too much onion in the green beans. Otherwise, they were wonderful.

    Now if I could only get Don Draper to pull up a chair at my table. I would totally try and seduce him with this meal.

  2. Ah, but the ’50s were the age of terrible food. Frozen food was just entering the picture, along with home freezers. Vegetables came in cans, and if you wanted fresh, you had to wait for it to come into season. None of this ‘strawberries in January’ stuff. You might have had the neighborhood butcher, but that was a necessity, rather than a foodie thing. Poor Betty didn’t have a chance at cooking herself into anyone’s heart. If you saw ‘Julie & Julia’ you know that there wasn’t much in the way of adventuresome cooking here back then. You have to take this in context…

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