|Truman Capote and his ‘date’ Katherine Graham|
|An entire book was written about
Truman’s Black and White Ball
In 1966, Truman Capote was flush with success. His ‘non-fiction novel’, the term he used to describe “In Cold Blood”, was a hit. He decided to throw himself a party. On the night of November 28th, exactly 45 years ago, Truman had invited 540 of the most glittering people in the world to his masked “Black and White Ball” at New York’s Plaza Hotel. He billed it as a kind of “Coming Out Party” for Katherine Graham who had taken over as President of the Washington Post Company following the suicide of her husband Phillip some three years earlier. In point of fact, it was more likely a “Coming Out Party” for Truman himself. It was hugely publicized before it took place so that when it did, the Plaza was mobbed with Papparazzi and just plain folks. They all turned out the see the rich and famous in their spectacular Black and White costumes and masks. At midnight, supper was served. The menu had only one main course. Chicken Hash.
|The Plaza Hotel, now sadly a condominium
and the home to Russian billionaires
who seldom live there.
The remaining hotel rooms all
face the back.
Chicken Hash? Well if you’ve ever tasted the food that came out of the Plaza Hotel’s catering department, you might have found that a wise choice. I distinctly remember going there for a benefit for ‘The Friends of Oxford’ (University). Every ex-pat Brit in New York was packed into the ballroom that had been recently gilded by Ivanna Trump, the then wife of the then owner, Donald Trump. (In the department of wretched excess, Mrs. Trump was at the head of the class.) Into this sea of Britons and their American friends, waiters carried platters of overcooked beef, tasteless vegetables and potato croquettes you could have used as tennis balls. The food was so bad that even the Brits balked at eating it. If there was one thing they knew about when they tasted it, it was what good beef is.
|The four key ingredients: Chicken, Yukon Gold Potatoes
Onions and Red Peppers
2 whole (4 split) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan. Add the potatoes and onions, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until evenly browned and cooked through.
In a separate saute pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the red peppers, garlic, thyme, paprika, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the edges of the peppers are seared.