Week 17 - Fonduloha

When I first announced that I was doing a cookbook challenge I was told to "make something weird". Until this point most of the things I've made were pretty normal. I knew if I wanted to find a truly strange recipe, my best bet was to look through the 1965 cookbook "Betty Crocker's Dinner in a Dish".

This book is the the height of mid-century culinary sophistication and there is no shortage of odd recipes. There are recipes like "Stuffed Peppers Festivo", green bell peppers stuffed with packaged macaroni and cheese and ham; "Salmon Supreme", canned salmon, mayonnaise, vegetables and relish in lemon-flavored gelatin; or "Curried Haddock in a Polka-Dot Ring", haddock curry inside a molded ring of rice and peas". I ultimately decided on a recipe called "Fonduloha" which although weird, didn't sound completely inedible.

 "Betty Crocker's Dinner in a Dish", published in 1965

"Betty Crocker's Dinner in a Dish", published in 1965

 Betty Crocker's photo for the Fonduloha

Betty Crocker's photo for the Fonduloha

Fonduloha is basically curried chicken salad with pineapples, celery, bananas, peanuts and mayonnaise, topped with coconut and mandarin oranges and served cold in hollowed out pineapple shells.  It isn't cooked in a casserole dish like most of the recipes so I'm not sure why it's even in this book, unless they are considering the pineapple shells the dish. The name is a bit of a puzzle as well, as there is no connection to "Fondu" at all. 

 The ingredients for Fonduloha

The ingredients for Fonduloha

I roasted a chicken a few days earlier and I had about two cups of leftover chicken.  Since the recipe called for 7 1/2 cups of chicken, I had to reduce the recipe quite a bit.  I had to cut the pineapple in quarters, hollow out the shells and then cut the pineapple into smaller pieces.

 Cutting up the pinepapple

Cutting up the pinepapple

 Pineapple shells ready for the salad

Pineapple shells ready for the salad

The next step was to mix the chicken with pineapple, bananas, celery and peanuts and add a mixture of mayonnaise and chutney.  The recipe wasn't specific on the type of chutney, so I just used a generic, sweet chutney made by Stonewall Kitchen.

 Chicken salad before adding the mayonnaise mixture

Chicken salad before adding the mayonnaise mixture

 The mayonnaise and chutney mixture

The mayonnaise and chutney mixture

Once the salad was complete, I spooned it into the pineapple shells and garnished with shredded coconut and mandarin orange slices. The resulting dish was a sweet chicken salad full of tropical flavors.  Chris's comment was "It's the strangest thing I've eaten all week.", which I'm not entirely sure was a compliment.  I actually thought it was pretty good.  I liked the pineapple and chicken combination and the addition of the peanuts for added texture.

 A closeup of the Fonduloha

A closeup of the Fonduloha

Would I make this again?  Yes, but with some revisions. The biggest issue was the addition of bananas, which basically took over the dish. Chris thought it made everything taste the same.  Since bananas have such a strong flavor that doesn't exactly go with chicken I'd just leave it out all together.  The other issue was that I didn't let the pineapple drain enough which caused the mixture to become a bit too wet.  Allowing the pineapple to drain a bit more should help with this issue.  

So, who wants to invite me to a pot luck dinner?  I'll bring the Fonduloha!

 The final spread

The final spread

Week 17 Roundup

Cookbook: "Betty Crocker's Dinner in a Dish", published in 1965

Recipe: Fonduloha

Difficulty: Easy

Alterations: None, but I did have to cut the recipe down

Results: Strange but I kind of liked it. If you aren't a fan of fruit in your chicken salad, you should probably stay away from this one.

Make Again: Yes, but next time I would drain the pineapple more and leave out the bananas.