Thursday, March 5, 2009

In the Loveless Kitchen

By Judith Garfield

Cookbooks…highbrow, lowbrow, it doesn’t matter. I won’t remember much anyway. All those recipes. So little interest. Where’s the fun?

In The Loveless Cookbook I plan to include a joke with every recipe. Like this:

Surprisingly, Julius Caesar preferred ranch.

For those of us who hate to cook, it helps to laugh while cooking or cook while laughing. Either way, the slicing and dicing become a little less tedious the more cheerful we are. What also helps is proper cooking equipment, like a great set of knives.

What doesn’t help are questionable kitchen tools. Like that thankless garlic press. Chef Anthony Bourdain calls it an abomination. Alton Brown, of Iron Chef, calls it a uni-tasker. Not worth the space it occupies in the utensil drawer. I call it, well, have you ever tried to clean one? Enough said.

Using the knife skills you will learn in chapter two of my book, (The Loveless Cook Cuts Up) you will be ready to mince your garlic. Then, you can try this recipe for the best Caesar dressing you will ever taste, courtesy of my friend M.

3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tube of anchovy paste
1/2 lemon
splash of white vinegar
raw egg
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Although foreign to your nature, a garnish of grated parmesan cheese and pimentos look impressive.

Pour over cold crisp romaine. Be thankful some loveless cook invented salad in a bag and use it. Serve with pan-seared pork tenderloin and roasted sweet potatoes. Look for these recipes in my book. Along with this.

Wife: The two things I cook best are meat loaf and apple pie.
Husband: Which is this?

Are you a loveless cook? Enter your favorite loveless recipe in our Recipe Contest for a chance to win dinner for two at a New Jersey restaurant!


Anonymous said...

When I told my friend that I trained my dog not to beg at the table, she asked how I did it. I responded, "I let him taste my cooking." I so badly want to be someone who can dazzle when she cooks. Alas, the only thing dazzling about my cooking is how my friends and family can eat it with a straight face. Thankfully, your blog gives hope to people like me, and I can't wait to read your book!!

FS said...

Down with the garlic press! Up with prewashed bagged salads!

Thanks LC.

Anonymous said...

It would take more than a good set of knives to make my cooking edible. How about a blog on how to make take-out look like homemade. Now, there's a chapter for your book!

Anonymous said...

I'm the original garlic lover. I eat so much garlic that the aroma escapes from my pores. I can't wait to try this recipe. When's the book coming out??

Anonymous said...

Love Caesar salad, recently tried one with Goat Cheese (now there's a cheese that needs a new name) surprisingly good. Hey, when's that book coming out!

Anonymous said...

I too am a not-so-anon garlic lover, and my lack of control to consume even a somewhat rational, human-like quantity has lead me to reserve eating it on Fridays. (As Rob Smith sings, "Mondays always fall apart, Tuesday Wednesday break my heart, Thursday doesn't even start, it's Friday I'm in love).

Garlic presses are great to sing into...

Anonymous said...

Here's a joke for your book LC:
What did the grape say when he got stepped on?
Nothing, he just let out a little wine.
Thanks for another great insight from the dark side of the kitchen!

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of a joke with every recipe! Can't wait for the loveless joke book. Better get back to work. Q: Why do people become bakers A: because they need the dough.

Anonymous said...

we're getting a little complicated now, my dear! however being able to make a nice homemade dressing would be, as the kids say, HUGE.