“Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah (Shore)” by Flo Selfman
Having been a top singing star since 1940, Dinah Shore became a pioneer television star with The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, which showcased her distinctive voice and relaxed Southern charm from 1951 to 1963. In 1970, she returned to television as host of Dinah’s Place, an NBC morning show that covered homemaking, crafts, child-rearing, health and beauty—always with a song, of course, and usually a cooking segment, either by Dinah or her celebrity guests. Many leading chefs got their first national exposure on Dinah’s Place.
Shortly after the show went on the air, Flo Selfman went to Dinah’s home in Beverly Hills as a two-week office temp to help with fan mail that was flooding in and ended up spending 3 1/2 years working with Dinah at the television studio. At the time, Shore was working on her first cookbook, Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah. An instinctive cook, she didn’t know how much of anything went into a recipe, so she would literally hold a measuring cup or spoon under the ingredient to record the amount.
In this Zoom presentation Flo Selfman, owner of the Los Angeles agency, Selfman & Others Public Relations and a copy editor through www.WordsalaMode.com shares her experiences in the kitchen with America’s darling, Dinah.
This is a favorite recipe from Dinah Shore’s first cookbook, Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah, with a new notes of my own. I worked for her while she was doing this cookbook so got to sample a lot of the recipes while she and her friends were testing them, and later at the studio once we moved our office there. Allow time for prepping the vegetables and the pie crust, if you’re doing it from scratch.
Eggplant Vegetable Pie
1 unbaked 10- to 11-inch flaky pie crust [or two 9-inch crusts, but I prefer one larger, deeper one].
1 eggplant, peeled and sliced crosswise ¼ inch thick
3 large tomatoes, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
1 ear fresh corn, cooked for approximately 2 minutes and cut off cob before placing in pie; or frozen corn, thawed and drained (optional)
2 onions, cut in ¼ inch rings
1 fresh green pepper, sliced [I slice it crosswise into rings, at least the top layer]
4 tablespoons Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 teaspoons garlic, crushed or chopped
Salt and pepper
Have an unsweetened, unbaked 10- to 11-inch flaky pie crust [or two 9-inch crusts, but one larger, deeper one is better]. Sprinkle pie crust with 2 Tbsp. parmesan or Romano cheese.
In a large skillet, sauté the onion rings in a little hot oil until lightly brown. Add the eggplant and tomatoes and sauté until slightly soft. (You may need two skillets.)
Layer the vegetables in the pie crust: first the eggplant, then tomatoes, half of the corn, onion, and ending with the fresh green pepper. Sprinkle with a little oil or dot with butter and add more Parmesan or Romano cheese mixed with the garlic. Salt and pepper generously. [Ok, this is 2021 – go easy on the salt.] Add an additional layer of the same vegetables; sprinkle again with a little oil or dot with butter and add more Parmesan or Romano cheese mixed with garlic.
Bake in a preheated 350° oven about 40 to 45 minutes until vegetables are tender and the crust is golden brown.