It wouldn’t be until the 1980s that Southwest cooking meant anything more than the homespun fare that melded Mexican, Native, and Spanish traditions in fairly simple ways. But even this popular “road food” of the 1960s and ’70s was a leap from dining in the railroad era.
Fred Harvey biographer Stephen Fried has reproduced recipes used by Harvey House cooks, both in his Appetite for America and online at the Fred Harvey Cookbook Project. A few Southwestern dishes are mentioned, and some, such as Huevos Rancheros, would be unrecognizable today: baked eggs on beans, sprinkled with water soaked chili powder.
Along with such non-Southwestern fare as Hungarian Beef Goulash, Macaroni and Oysters, and Codfish Balls (with calves’ brains), the cookbook includes a recipe for Bull Frogs Sauté Provencal: a skinned, cut-up bullfrog sautéed with garlic, shallots, onion, and mushrooms, simmered with tomatoes, and served with parsley and olives. La Plazuela diners can relax, updated versions of these dishes will not be added to the menu anytime soon! (photo courtesy of Fred Harvey Cookbook Project)