Dec 1st 2006 11:14PM As bdw points out, Mexican is not the only chili-focused cuisine, and I was remiss not to mention others; indeed, a recent meal at Junnoon (similar to NYC's Tabla) in Palo Alto featured some of the richest, most complex chili blends I've ever had the pleasure of tasting. And yes, it remains to be seen how the "new garlic" is incorporated into the uber-foodie world.
Dec 1st 2006 3:21PM But the burn is essential, MJ -- it's part of the allure, an aspect of the chili zeitgeist!! What's truly wonderful about chili cultivars is the range of both flavor and heat; one can go from subtle tingle to thermonuclear and back again, from bright and grassy to muted and smoky. Try doing *that* with garlic!
Growing up in the former Spanish land grant known as California, I was introduced to chiles at an early age and have always loved them. Indeed, I love to look at them (try passing by a colorful array of chiles at the farmers' market) as well as cook with and eat them. No, I'm not one of those asbestos-tongued chili geeks for whom Scoville rating tolerance has become an extreme sport! Incendiary for the sake of incendiary does nothing but obscure the flavor of the dish; heat incorporated with spicing and texture can be sublime.
Nov 29th 2006 9:27PM Kate, Calvin Trillin was also *my* inspiration to start carrying my own tasty airline meals, having read about it in his delightful book "Alice, Let's Eat". The last time I flew (October, 2005), I packed a homemade meatloaf sandwich, cole slaw, fruit, nuts, and a couple chocolate chip cookies; not sure what I'd take today, with all the prohibitions, but I can't imagine an innocent sandwich would raise eyebrows.
Nov 29th 2006 2:26PM For many years, my approach to airline food has been a simple one: I don't eat it, ever; I never, ever eat it (the free peanuts and pretzels are an exception). Instead, I pack my own, a tasty assortment that always draws envious glances from fellow passengers. Airline food may have been palatable once upon a time, but those days are long since past. And when one considers the appalling cost of the "meals" coupled with the aforementioned nutrition data, I'd say it's a no-brainer. Plane travel is painful enough without subjecting oneself to the "food".
Nov 28th 2006 4:19PM PuhLEEZE don't get me started on this topic! I am one who simply cannot understand the appeal of this, um, "sport," particularly given the general state of unhealthiness so rampant in the country. Too many folks don't make conscious choices about what they put in their mouths; these contests merely perpetuate trend that has given rise to outsized portions and mindless eating.
Nov 28th 2006 4:07PM Another one of my most-referenced cookbooks, I always find ways to enhance my cooking when I leaf through its pages. A great resource.
Nov 23rd 2006 12:03AM Worst: The Dreaded Green Bean Casserole, candied yams topped with miniature marshmallows, goopy/sodden dressing, jellied cranberry sauce.
Best: A perfectly-roasted turkey with my mama's cornbread (she's Southern, from North Carolina) dressing; yams candied with brown sugar, butter and bourbon; sauteed greens with crispy garlic; potato rolls; The Best Pumpkin Pie (secret recipe), and pumpkin-fudge ice cream.
Nov 22nd 2006 7:15PM "Who was the pundit who proposed spaghetti carbonara as the appropriate traditional dish for Thanksgiving?" - calamari
That would be the inimitable Calvin Trillin . . .
Nov 18th 2006 4:21PM Y'all are going to call me a stick-in-the-mud, but Nutella doesn't rock my taste buds. Don't get me wrong, I *adore* chocolate and hazelnut in combination; but I find Nutella too sugary sweet, which isn't surprising as the first ingredient listed on the label is sugar. Put me in front of a good gianduja spread from Italy, one in which chocolate/cocoa is the prominent ingredient, and I'll follow you anywhere!
Nov 17th 2006 4:33PM Because I'm a cookbook-collectin' fool, this little gem found its way to my bookshelf via a "75% off table" (yes, it was an impulse buy!) at a local cooking store. Rick Rodgers brings some life and creativity to the one-subject cookbook category, and I appreciate his efforts.