Herself: Deeply touched by Robert Brady’s updates this morning. Swam, class….lunch like lead, correct the essay and post. Back to Stephanie Plum.
Earthquake Updates: Robert Brady’s Quake Updates; Kay in Hawaii; Gigi Hawaii.
Princeton’s dictionary tells us that “ad hoc” is: often improvised or impromptu such as "an ad hoc committee meeting,” but there’s nothing ad hoc about this large, dramatically designed coffee table cookbook or the unique cooking style created by chef Keller. Newsweek magazine tells us, “Alice Waters and Chez Panisse may have started the locavore movement. Jean-Georges Vongerichten perfected high-end fusion cooking, and Wolfgang Puck created the celebrity chef. But Keller, with his emphasis on flights of tiny courses, his application of rigorous classical French technique to both high and low cuisine, created a new style of fine American dining.” Oh, I can so easily be sucked into this twenty first century, nouveau snobbery.
I came home and settled in for a serious read. Propping this massive and handsome volume up on several lap pillows, I eagerly began reading….and it is an eminently readable volume.
He gives us homemade comfort food Keller style. Here too, he tells us how the restaurant “ad hoc” began, what the goals were, and how the he and his staff reached the point of fame and fortune where they are now. I was eager to learn.
“Be kind to your parents,” Chef Keller reminds us next to a picture of his father. He was honored to be able to cook for his father in his last years. Great stuff. Then came the roast chicken. Chef Keller is right. A good roast chicken is a work of art and provides chicken for hundreds of other recipes. Brine the chicken, he tells us. Brine? Isn’t that salt? Rub with goose fat. Fat? I was set back, put off, and not at all charmed. I came to a halt, actually. This is not being kind to your parents.
Over the years I’ve gotten better at tap dancing on the head of a pin, but not with the addition of salt and fat, darn it. I closed the book then made dinner from a modern, three item cookbook that really worked out well. Tamale pie….popular in the 1920’s the book told me. Delicious stuff, actually, with no additional salt, fat, fuss…..or ad hoc snobbery.
Tamale Pie a la "500 Three Item Recipes"
2 cups mild salsa
1 pound hamburger browned
1 package Jiffy Corn Bread Mix made according to package
(And I added 1 small can of corn)
Brown meat, add salsa and heat through, put in buttered casserole and top with corn bread mixture. Bake 20 minutes at 350.
“ad hoc at home:” Chef Thomas Keller’s cookbook on comfort food
Thomas Keller at Wikipedia.
Newsweek: How Thomas Keller transformed American Dining