Everybody knows about the troubles that plague a football coach in the autumn. Not so many are aware of those that plague his wife. Forced to minister to the needs of a stomach perpetually on the brink of ulceration, the coach's wife, more than most, must be a tactful and skillful mistress of cookery if she is to keep her husband happy. One wife who perfectly fits this description is Frances Steccati Daugherty, wife and cook for the last 18 years to Michigan State's volatile and excitable Hugh Duffy Daugherty.
"I am living evidence," says Duffy, "that Francie is a fabulous cook. In the stress and strain of my profession, food often rests uneasily on a man's stomach. Yet I have survived all of Francie's gastric tests without developing a single ulcer."
Despite this unsolicited testimonial, Duffy, a man chronically concerned with the intricacies of the multiple offense, paid little heed when his wife confessed some years ago that she was toying with the idea of publishing a cookbook. "When Francie asked if I'd promise to read the book," said Duffy, "I told her I'd rather wait till they made the movie." But Mrs. Daugherty, who knows and forgives her husband's weakness for a wisecrack, persisted, and the result was Gridiron Cookery, a collection of the favorite recipes of football coaches' wives all over the country, written in collaboration with a Lippincott editor named Aileen Brothers and just published by David McKay.
"Now that the book is off the press," Duffy admitted last week in a graceful about-face, "I am experiencing a tinge of regret that it is all over. Our entire family, including No. 1 son, Danny, 14, and daughter, Dree, 6, has enjoyed sampling the contents, and I, for one, have relished my role as official guinea pig for the 350 recipes included. The children particularly enjoyed Chicken Dickens, contributed by Mrs. Phil Dickens of Indiana U., and I feel that I outdid myself preparing a mess of teriyaki steaks on the outdoor grill according to the recipe of Mrs. Tommy Kaulukukui of the University of Hawaii. But my favorite dish, inside the book or out of it, is still Francie's veal parmigiana."
Considering the fact that the book contains a recipe for fudge contributed by Coach Daugherty himself, this is a handsome tribute.
Veal parmigiana by Mrs. Duffy Daugherty
6 veal cutlets, pounded very thin
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup tomato sauce
6 slices mozzarella cheese
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese salt and pepper to taste
Season beaten egg with salt and pepper. Combine bread crumbs with half the grated cheese. Dip cutlets first in egg, then in crumbs. Sauté in hot olive oil until golden brown; place in a shallow baking pan. Cover with tomato sauce and top with mozzarella slices; sprinkle the rest of the grated Parmesan on top. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, or until cheese melts and browns slightly. Serves four to six.
Fudge by Duffy Daugherty
½ cup cocoa
3 cups sugar
‚Öî cup evaporated milk
‚Öì cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons butter
Combine cocoa, sugar, milk and water. Bring to a slow boil, stirring occasionally; cook until a small amount forms a soft ball in cold water. Remove from heat; add vanilla and butter as mixture cools. Beat until it thickens; pour on a buttered platter or pan and cut in squares. Allow to set.