Thank you for a very timely article.
It upsets me that you make it sound like this lady is somehow a pioneer. That is disrespect for Diana Kennedy, who travelled all over the country learning to make authentic regional dishes, way back when nobody was doing that. I lived in Mexico for 20 years, and apart from recipes that I obtained from my Mexican friends and neighbours (I make a mean goat barbacoa), I used Diana Kennedy's recipes regularly, and I still make pickled jalepeños from her recipe.
Much improved by folding in a spoonful of butter before serving.
That's pretty well the way I make it, but thanks for the sesame oil suggestion -- it makes a very nice difference!
Re boiling water: my favourite savoury pie dough is made with boiling water, in which you melt the lard. It's true that no matter how much you handle it it can never be tough, and it's always flaky. It's used for meat pies.
@lisadee: In Mexico you can buy whole wheat flour tortillas, so try a batch and see!
Flour tortillas are the only ones that taste authentic outside of Mexico, but only if you eat them fresh off the comal!
What if one doesn't have a madeleine pan?
For savoury dishes, the hot water and lard recipe just cannot be beat!
Chorizo without pimentón (Spanish paprika)?
That's exactly how I make it (I don't need the special bag treatment, because I only make ¼ cup at a time), and I add a little chili powder and smoked paprika for a "barbecue" flavour.
Or I use butter instead of oil, and a couple of TB of brown sugar, for a light caramel flavour.
For locavores, cole slaw is one of the most local foods you can get because all the ingredients (cabbage, carrots, onions) are grown locally and keep well over the winter.
I always use red onion and 2 proportions of apple cider vinegar (also a local product) to 1 of plain oil. One TB sugar per ¼ cabbage. I eat some every day except in summer when local greens are in season.
Apart from the pancetta (not available here in the boondocks), this is my recipe and I can vouch for it wholeheartedly! The only improvement I've made lately is to use buttermilk, since I always have some in the freezer because I make my own cultured butter.
I make a huge batch and freeze it in portions in zipper bags so that I can have some at nearly a moment's notice (I defrost the portion in cold water if I'm in a hurry).
P.S. The sauce I make is a simple tomato one, that's why it only takes 15 minutes.
I don't see any advantage to the slow cooker in this recipe. The sauce can be ready in 15 minutes; add another half hour with the meat balls while the pasta cooks, and supper's ready! I must admit it's better the next day, though, that's why I always make twice this recipe, and freeze in individual portions.
jpet: I just dump the grounds into the compost bin that I keep in the kitchen.
The coarsest grind on my expensive Espresione grinder is more like medium. What a disappointment!
Great sounding recipe! Can I use it to make muffins?
Mmm... and I thought the mayonnaise was for dipping the frites, like in Belgium!
Trying your recipe today, for a change from my usual multigrain recipe. Whenever I live in a place without a good bakery (as is the case now), I make my own, but I like being able to buy it--bakeries are such exciting places, appealing to so many senses!
It takes so little Parmesan to light up a dish that it's not worth pinching pennies.
Using dry vermouth instead of white wine is an old trick I learned from Julia Child back in the 70's... thanks for reviving it!
I don't know if anyone else mentioned that, but you forgot to take the age of the beans into account. Beans from a recent crop will cook a lot faster than old beans. I know this from 22 years in Mexico, where nobody ever soaks the beans, by the way.
A good reason for using buttermilk instead of vinegar is if you make your own cultured butter, as I do, and desperately need something to do with all the buttermilk. I made some today and it was fine, and next time I will definitely try the microwave trick, so thanks for that!
Listen, the whole cholesterol thing is a myth, but you're right, too much cream cheese is kind of icky because nowadays all cream cheeses are full of gummy binders. But you can make your own, it's really easy.
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