|bad old peeler and wonderful new one|
The salmon salad from Sunday Suppers at Lucques was the last straw for me with Suzanne Goin as it required 10 separate cooking/holding vessels. It’s a delicious, opulent salad of beets, tiny potatoes, and roasted salmon atop dandelion greens dressed in a mustardy vinaigrette. While the beets quickly bled into the salmon (ugly), that didn’t matter because I was the only one who ate this salad. I ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for a couple of days and was very happy until I was suddenly so sick of it I had to throw it to the chickens. Depressing, given the cost of salmon, but I couldn't force down another bite.
My complaint about the dish is my overarching complaint about Goin's books: Too many steps, too many dishes to wash. I like Suzanne Goin, I like her cookbooks, and next time I go to Los Angeles will try to eat at one of her restaurants, but I just can’t cook like this. Tomorrow or the next day we’ll see what Tad Friend has to say about The A.O.C. Cookbook vs. Roberta’s over at the Piglet. I wait with bated breath.
Ok, about the Piglet. So homogenized this year! I’m going to swim agains the current and say that while I rolled my eyes at the time, I sort of miss those weird wild card judgments of Piglets past. Eccentric, half-assed verdicts like Roz Chast’s. These bizarre write-ups added spice. They got my dander up. Rather than telling people to write balanced reviews informed by conscientious recipe testing, it seemed like the Piglet organizers just sent the books out to a bunch of creative people and let them respond however they chose. While the results were sometimes lame, they were also very genuine and oddly illuminating. I learned a lot from Roz Chast’s review. I got a glimpse of how many ordinary people approach cookbooks, which is to say, they don't really give a damn. And while I didn’t love Alice Waters’ nose-holding verdict, she was using her own personal yardstick, not following a template. The Piglet organizers have clearly raised their standards and I, for one, find that I am a little sorry.
Still waiting for the Benton’s bacon so I can’t start Momofuku. What should I do in the meantime?