What’s the Recipe? | The New Yorker
Maybe it seemed too cold, too technical. In any case, the recipe no longer yields; it merely serves. Other good things go. The cult of the cooking vessel—the wok, the tagine, the Dutch oven, the smoker, the hibachi, the Tibetan kiln or the Inuit ice oven or whatever—seems to be over. Even the imagery of cooking has changed. Sometime in the past decade or so, the actual eating line was breached. Now the cooking magazines and the cookbooks are filled with half-devoured dishes and cut-open vegetables.
With their torn leaves and unyielding pages, cookbooks have two overt passions right now: one is simplicity, the other is salt. Reformations make counterreformations as surely as right makes left; every time someone whitewashes a church in Germany, someone else paints angels on a ceiling in Rome. But simplicity remains the most complicated of all concepts.
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Yet all movements in cooking believe themselves to be movements toward greater simplicity. Even the molecular gastronomes believe that they are truly elemental, breaking things down to the atomic level. Curnonsky, the greatest of the interwar gourmands, was famous for preferring the cooking of the provinces and of grandmothers to the cuisine of restaurant chefs, and the result was such monuments of simplicity as Tournedos Curnonsky: filet of beef with grilled tomatoes, poached bone marrow, and cognac-port-and-black-truffle sauce. The insistence on the many kinds of salt—not merely sea salt and table salt but hand-harvested fleur de sel, Himalayan red salt, and Hawaiian pink salt—is everywhere, and touching, because, honestly, it all tastes like salt.
And now everyone brines. Although brining is defended with elaborate claims about tenderness, what it really does is make food taste salty, and all primates like the taste of salt. The salt fetish has, I think, another and a deeper cause: we want to bond with the pro cooks. The slaves seem happy, anyway, until they escape and write that testimonial, or start that cooking blog.
The urge to meld identities with the pros is tied to a desire to get something out of a cookbook besides another recipe. For beneath those conscious enthusiasms and trends lies a new and deeper uncertainty in the relation between the recipe book and its reader. The Internet has broken what once seemed a natural tie, between the recipe and the cookbook, as it has broken the tie between the news story and the newspaper.
You can find pretty much any recipe you want online now. The older boys I knew grew up to be policemen, politicians and criminals often a mix of the three. If I ever had thoughts at all as to what I might be when I grew up, they were modest ones. I might have pictured myself running a bar in Southie or opening a sub shop in Southie.
But having a restaurant of my own on Beacon Hill?
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- You should make Chicken Marbella, you know.
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No way. In fact, if a fortune teller had told me at fourteen what good things were in store for me, I would have laughed in her face and told her where she could shove such bullshit.
I marvel that any of us made it out of there without winding up in jail or the morgue. Blood shot out of the lamb like water from a high-pressure hose. Escoffier lists every recipe for tournedos and all its variations. This was the way all cooks cooked once. In the B. Forgot Password? Log In Forgot Password?
Log In Register Now! Authors Julee Rosso Sheila Lukins. Serve these shrimp as a first course or on the ends of long bamboo skewers as an appetizer. We promise wonderful results and a very moist bird. This agreeably all-American stuffing is good with any poultry. Southern-style goodness. Serve this comforting bread warm with lots of butter and honey. The mixture of mustard and three peppercorns gives this roast a crisp and piquant crust.
This light salad is a beautiful luncheon offering. Other cookbooks by the authors. Sign In with one of your Social Accounts.
- A New Chicken Marbella (Finally!) - The Atlantic?
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Sign In using Email and Password Email:. It's impressive for a dinner party and it's even better if you make it in advance but cozy enough for an evening for two. Zuni Cafe Cookbook , by Judy Rodgers. All roast chickens are not created equal. This chicken made a name for Judy Rodgers, first at her San Francisco restaurant Zuni Cafe, and then in her now-legendary cookbook of the same name. Yes, it's fussy.
Yes, it's nearly five pages long. But it changed the way I roast chicken forever. Salt your birds early, people! There are thousands of shakshukas online, but this is the one that put the dish on America's Weeknight Dinner roster. Its success is in its simplicity: A can of whole tomatoes is cooked down with a chopped red pepper, plenty of garlic, and a few spoonfuls of spicy harissa.
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Slip in a few eggs and dinner or brunch or a midnight snack is done. Had Julee and Sheila called this recipe "Baked Chicken with Green Olives and Prunes," it probably wouldn't have become the number-one chicken dish of buffets everywhere. But they had the good sense to give it a vague name. And not only is Marbella mysterious, it's also a host's dream—it can be made ahead, and it can feed a dozen people. That's why people make the recipe the first time; they make it the second, third, and thirteenth times because—who knew?
My Bread , by Jim Lahey. Making bread is a hassle. It gave me the courage to attempt making my own bread at home, mostly because it was so dead simple and required so little effort on my part.
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