We’ve made it! It’s officially Liberace’s Birthday! And for it, I present to you his most-famous dish.
I think of this as Liberace’s “single girl special” because it is simple, quick, and you probably have all of the necessary ingredients in your fridge right now.
Plus! It only requires 1 dish. For everything. Cooking and serving. Only 1 dish! I can get behind that.
This is from the Do It Yourself and Eat it Yourself chapter in Liberace Cooks!
In the intro to Chapter II Carol Truax writes…
Most of us call it lunch. Liberace calls it breakfast. His working hours are late, from 8pm to midnight, and usually even later because his audiences have a way of refusing to go home. Following a night like that, of course he sleeps till after noon. Then he gets up, ready for a good breakfast, and sits down to it at lunch time. There is no law about where he eats it, but on certain days, “when the help is off,” he may take over the kitchen…
…When Liberace takes over his own kitchen, he likes to prepare for himself what he calls his “fifteen minute breakfast.”
“You break two eggs into a baking dish,’ says Liberace, “almost cover them with half-and-half, dot with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake it in a warm oven for about 8 minutes. Eat it right away, ” warns Liberace, “don’t let it sit around and get hard.”
So Lee just gave us the recipe, basically. But it’s illustrated in the cookbook as such:
Liberace Special 15-Minute Eggs (serves 1)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup half-and-half or light cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese
Warm a baking dish about 2 1/2 to 3 inches across. Put in a little butter. Then break in the eggs. Pour over the half-and-half or cream, which should almost cover the eggs. Dot with remaining butter, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cheese. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 7 or 8 minutes until the whites are set.
The only thing I didn’t have in the fridge was cream or half-and-half. But I did have whole milk. And I never have whole milk–I always use skim–so to me, whole milk might as well be cream!
At 7 minutes the whites were nowhere near set. But I did notice that the thermometer was reading a little bit low. Hm. Damn apartment-sized oven.
So I set the timer for another 7 minutes. Not set.
5 minutes more.
Then 3 minutes more. Finally.
So this is more like 30 minute eggs. At least if the oven isn’t all the way up to 375. Maybe if I did this at 400 it would only take 7-8 minutes.
But who cares because this was DELICIOUS. I knew that it would be edible–because really, how can you mess up that recipe? But I was shocked at how good this was. Throw a couple pieces of toast with it and you got a meal!
So another fun thing about my copy of Liberace Cooks!–this little Los Angeles Times newspaper clipping was tucked inside. Lee died in February of 1987, so the auction was held just a little over a year after his death. And the last due date in the cookbook was May 11, 1988. Did a big Liberace fan steal this from the library? Did the previous owner go to the auction?
If I were an adult in 1988, I would have done anything to go to this event. “Come view Liberace’s Treasures while sipping Champagne and meeting Celebrities!” Tickets at the door for only $15? Sign. Me. Up.
Here is an article from People Magazine about the auction. It refers to him as the Sultan of Schmaltz (love that!) And I really like this quote from comedian Rip Taylor, a close friend of Liberace’s: “When it was together it was elegant. Now it looks like a garage sale. [But] if he were here today, he would probably have bought everything again.”
I wonder who was at the party aside from Rip Taylor.
Anyway, Happy Birthday, Liberace! And thanks to everyone who celebrated with me all-week-long!
Here is a birthday present for us all, the trailer for a little movie called THE WORLD OF LIBERACE.
It answers questions like Why does Liberace I have 13 cars? 8 dogs? Why has he never married? How did he almost became the victim of an international kidnapping plot?
Hold on. WHAT?
Well, we all have to go to Amazon and order a copy.
Have a great weekend, kittens!