Friday, April 23, 2010
Jennifer Reese has an article debating who has the best fried chicken: famous chef Thomas Keller or famous blogger the Pioneer Woman. I thought it was interesting experiment on the writer's family to see what their verdict was on recipes from both cookbooks for fried chick, mashed potatoes, iceberg lettuce salad, and pineapple upside down cake.
I think it's an interesting debate between slow, deliberate, artful, cooking as a hobby/process for oneself and practical, frugal, helpful cooking done as a necessity for a family. (As an aside, I don't have kids, so I have the luxury right now of indulging in this debate, but I certainly understand for most families Keller's brand of cooking is not really an option... also, another disclaimer, this is not to say that fast, kid-appropriate food cannot be an art of it's own, but hopefully you know what I'm saying.)
Thomas Keller's book is Ad Hoc at Home, and he runs the empire of the French Laundry, Per Se, Bouchon, Bouchon Bakery, and, of course, Ad Hoc itself.
His three tips for home cooks:
1. Seasoning (salt heightens the flavor of everything)
2. Touch your food (to check doneness, to apply condiments, to manipulate and prepare, dare I say... to connect with it)
3. Organization and efficiency (from menu preparation to shopping to timing)
Ree Drummond's book is The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl. I haven't followed the Pioneer Woman too closely, but I heard a rumor that there's a biographical movie coming out about her, and Reese Witherspoon might be playing the part of Ree. I mean what other Hollywood actress can play the part of a spunky, country woman? Well, besides Sandra Bullock? Hello, Walk the Line and The Blind Side. It's their bread and butter, their biscuits and butter... if you will. Too far? Probably so.