Book: Mexico, One Plate at a Time
Recipes cooked: quick fried shrimp with sweet toasty garlic
I feel cruel when I do this, but I can't help myself. I'm going to quote Rick Bayless again:
"Garlic, that most outgoing member of the onion family, is for those who love living life to the fullest. That's not to say it's just for daredevils, though. Sure, it can be the Stone Cold Steve Austin of the flavor world, but if you know how to coax it along, you'll have the simple, elegant strength of Pierce Brosnan. "
He also likens the flavor of garlic to "the musk of white truffles or the sultry sway of a dance partner on a summer night."
And: "Neither seafood nor garlic is irresolute, but they sing together joyously. Courageously simple and luxurious."
Was his editor drunk?
Bayless's prose may be purple, but his recipes are meticulously written and seldom fail. To make his delicious shrimp in mojo de ajo you bake the shellfish in a hot skillet then top with a mountain of poached garlic. This decadent dish didn't taste Mexican to me, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It was sweet and rich -- oily in the best sense of the word. I wouldn't say Pierce Brosnan -- more Daniel Craig. Isn't garlic a blond?
I mock, but I do in fact love Rick Bayless.
To go along with the shrimp, I made the spicy stewed chard out of Diana Kennedy's Art of Mexican Cooking.
Stewed chard. Just saying those words makes the mouth water. It was actually quite tasty.
Obligatory chicken reference: I want a nifty egg scale like the one Susan Orlean uses at the end of this video. I also want her house. And her career. And her haircut. I need to get a copy of the New Yorker asap to read her new essay about keeping chickens.