By Steve Brawley
Inventory of Recipes "Attributed" to Jackie:
- Appetizers & Soups
- Main Courses & Side Dishes
Jackie was no "in the kitchen" cook, but she knew how to use food as a way to showcase the important role of presidency, and for entertaining friends and royalty alike.
There are several recipes "attributed" to her, mostly for the 1960 campaign and during John's senate years. At the White House she created a new kitchen and dining room on the second floor in the family quarters. Her state dinners are historic benchmarks. Her private dinner parties, legendary. Having said that, she never claimed to be a chef.
From Camelot at Dawn by Suero/Garside page 63: "Evelyn Lincoln called and said Jack was leaving the office so, I
started everything. I’d heard those silly stories about the bride burning things and I just knew everything was going right when suddenly, I don’t know what went wrong, you couldn’t see the place for smoke. And when I tried to pull the chops out of the oven, the door seemed to collaspe. The pan slid out and the fat splattered. One of the chops fell on the floor but I put it on the plate anyway. The chocolate sauce was burning and exploding. What a smell? I couldn’t get the spoon out of the chocolate. It was like a rock. The coffee had all boiled away. I burned my arm and it turned purple. It looked terrible. Then Jack arrived and took me to dinner.” - Jackie Kennedy.
From JFK Library: "We can not verify that this was President John F. Kennedy's favorite breakfast, but he did prefer orange juice, poached eggs on toast, crisp broiled bacon, marmalade, milk and coffee. For lunch, President Kennedy was particularly fond of soup - New England Fish Chowder was a favorite. He has been described as a "soup, sandwich and fruit" man for lunch--always soup though. For dinner there were no particular favorites, although he did like lamb chops, steak, baked chicken and turkey (white meat) and don't forget mashed potatoes. He also was fond of seafood and baked beans. According to chefs who worked in the White House, President Kennedy liked corn muffins too - so did Calvin Coolidge. For dessert, if he had it, it would likely be chocolate. President Kennedy was a small eater; he often had to be reminded that it was dinner time... politics always took preference over food."
Marta Sgubin: "Madam loved Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners. She loved those dinners because it was just family and close, close friends. Like every hostess, Madam wanted everything to be perfect. Of course, the idea of perfect is different for everyone. For her it meant that the food looked simple and abundant and homemade. Food was piled generously onto the serving platters and garnished very simply. She made her guests feel welcome because she was genuinely glad to see them. And she was also a wonderful listener. When Madam talked to you, you felt you were the only person in a room. Even if there were hundreds of people. She had the gift of making her guests feel special.
Madam loved many things. She loved the Tomato and Ricotta Tart that's in the book and she loved, loved the summer pudding. You can really make that pudding all year round now. She loved lobster and chicken salads, always made with a very light dressing like vinaigrette or mayonnaise diluted with milk. In the fall, she always requested Oeufs Toupinel. We served this to Mrs. Clinton when she came for lunch.
As for the children, they loved everything. John loved Sloppy Joe's and Caroline loved Creamed Chicken and Peas. But the children also ate risottos and pasta dishes. We wanted them to taste everything and learn to understand and enjoy good food."
Through cookbooks by Marta Sgubin, Annemaire Huste, and Rene Verdon, we gain insight into Jackie's culinary tastes.
When Lean Cuisine hit the shelves, Jackie was an immediate fan, using the meals when she was off in the horse countries of New Jersey or Virginia. She easily moved from cheese souffles to cheese sandwiches. We do know she did not like to have to cut her food and she did not like shrimp. She loved mango ice cream.
The recipes provided are samples of those attributed to her or via one of the cookbooks written by someone
who knew her culinary tastes.