Back to the 80’s: Buttered Noodles with Crisp Brown Shallots

I recently went to a local used book sale and found the 1987 edition of The Best of Gourmet. This book is like a time machine, it’s filled with 1980’s gems like terrines and make ahead of time meals. It’s sectioned into themes like Christmas dinner, cocktail parties, Super Bowl supper, anniversary dinner, and the curious October dinner. I’m not sure why October gets it’s own dinner, but who knows, maybe it was a special month in the 80s’.  I’ve decided to make buttered noodles with browned shallots.

Originally a Pennsylvanian Dutch dish, buttered noodles were brought to the forefront in the late 80’s with the surge of interest in Amish cooking.  In 1987 Amish chef Marcia Adams debuted her PBS cooking show, Amish Cooking in Quilt Country. Her simple cooking led to the success of the series and the release of her cookbooks, Cooking from Quilt Country, and New Recipes from Quilt Country.

Buttered Noodles with Crisp Brown Shallots

Vegetable oil for frying the shallots
½ lb large shallots, peeled and sliced thin
½ pound medium egg noodles
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened


  1. In a large heavy skillet heat ½ inch of the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Fry the shallots, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until they are golden. Transfer to paper towel to drain.
  2. In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the noodles for 7 to 9 minutes or until they are tender, drain well and return to kettle.Toss the noodles with the butter and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Transfer them to a heated serving dish, and sprinkle them with the shallots.

Serves 4

 The Results:
The buttered noodles turned out well, they were creamy and the shallots added an underlying sweetness to the dish. Not candy- sweet, but a subtle sweetness, I didn’t expect. It was really easy to make too, much easier than making tomato sauce three hours in advance.  The time machine effect waned a little, but it did have a reminiscent quality of a simpler time. When there was no Internet, or cell phones, when everyone just sat at the table and had dinner together.

Recipe courtesy of the 1987 Edition The Best of Gourmet.


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