Julie Stars In The Kitchen, Too


NEW YORK, N.Y. --- “Hey good lookin’, what ‘ya say ‘bout cookin’ up somethin’ with me?” sloe eyed Julie London asks her audience at the opening of her new night club act. And Julie not only sings for her supper in a sultry voice, but off the night club floor, she gets a good work-out performing in the kitchen of her California home. After her show in the Hotel Americana’s Royal Box, she kicked off her shoes and talked about cooking for her family.

“I’m an impulsive cook. I get a yen for something, and I rush down to the kitchen and make up a batch,” Julie said. Her cooking is regulated by her appetite. “And my appetite is as erratic as my cooking,” she said. “Some days I couldn’t care less about food, then on other days I’ll eat spaghetti or chili with onions for breakfast. But my husband can’t stand to be in the same room with me when I eat like this.”

Julie was talking about her pianist – composer husband, Bobby Troup. Despite her continuous nightclub, TV and record dates, the blonde-haired actress manages to cook at least part time for her family. The Troup household consists of three-year-old twin sons, four-year-old daughter, and two daughters by her previous marriage to actor Jack Webb.

“If I had to cook three times a day, I wouldn’t be entranced with it, but I do love to cook breakfast. I make a 10-minute or a 45-minute breakfast, depending upon my mood and appetite.” The important item to her is       crisp bacon. “I’m a great bacon fan,” Julie exclaimed. “Our favorite eggs are basted with bacon fat, and I mean the drippings from the bacon I’ve just fried. I hate the taste of burned butter. Frequently I make bacon gravy by browning flour in the drippings. Then I add milk and coarsely ground pepper and cook it until its rich and thick. I make ham gravy the same way, it’s my husband’s favorite, and my kids adore it.”

Julie London

“What do you serve the gravy with?” we asked.

“Over biscuits, the baking powder kind. I detest soda biscuits,” Julie said. “Or over waffles which I make from scratch. If I use a mix, I doctor it. The real secret of good waffles is adding bacon fat to the batter.” Her other breakfast specialties include flapjacks, fried potatoes and pork sausages.

“I really learned to cook by watching my mother. I’m a Southern cook of sorts, as my mother once lived in Arkansas. I always helped her in the kitchen. She was a marvelous cook. The only trouble I have is trying to repeat her dishes. She never used a recipe.”

Julie London said, “I really like to cook on a gas stove because I’m used to it.” Her only lament is her kitchen is too small and the stove is electric. “The rest of the house is great. Every room is different, one is modern, another is Regency, and another Georgian in decor,” the statuesque actress said.

When she was asked if she ever has any weight problems, she said, “No, I never do, but I guess it’s a lack of sleep. I should eat more protein, but I like to eat what I like.”

Her other food favorites are strongly influenced by her California up-bringing. “I get a yearning for wilted lettuce salad or potato soup. The real secret of making potato soup is putting half a pat of butter into the cooking pot along with the peeled potatoes and onions. But don’t mash the potatoes, they should be lumpy,” Julie advised.

“But my real passion is Mexican food. I adore hot red peppers. We often have an all-Mexican meal: margaritas and guacamole for openers, fried beans and enchiladas.”

The shapely entertainer, who cooks on all burners when she sings, summed up her cuisine with these words, “All I know is, my old man loves my cooking.” Her favorite way to prepare enchiladas follows:


     12  large corn meal tortillas (fresh, frozen or canned)

  Cooking oil, depth ½ inch in skillet

1    can enchilada sauce

2    cups chopped Bermuda onions

6    ounces grated Monterey (or cheddar) cheese

2    ounces grated mozzarella cheese

    1/2  cup pitted black olives cut in quarters

Slip one tortilla at a time into hot fat for 15 seconds; lift out with tongs. Dip tortilla in heated enchilada sauce. Remove to a cookie sheet. Fill generously with cheeses that have been mixed together. Top with grated onion. Roll up. Repeat this procedure until all the tortillas have been filled. Place in a buttered baking dish. Ladle remaining sauce generously over all. Top with remaining cheese, garnish with olives. Bake in 350 degree 25 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and brown. Serves 4.

Afterthoughts: Tortillas and enchilada sauce are available at Mexican food specialty shops, supermarkets, or department stores. The enchilada sauce can be made hotter by the addition of Tabasco, chili powder or Louisiana hot sauce.

© 1966, Newsday Inc.


She Cooks On Impulse

The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg)

March 16, 1966