Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Carolina Slaw

I'm not posting the recipe here, but rather relaying my experience with it.  I often say that something simple is "hardly a recipe".  Well, Carolina slaw is the opposite of that.  It is an intense recipe for a very simple ingredient: cabbage.  There are good recipes out there, and I encourage anyone to try them.  But, know this, it's difficult, time consuming, and requires special equipment.  It's worth it.  Carolina slaw is elevated so far beyond the supermarket slaw or restaurant slaw that I've always had.  I was never truly impressed by a mayonnaise based slaw.  While the dressing in Carolina slaw does have certain similar elements - egg based, for instance - it is far more complex.  Even though it's difficult, the techniques are not new to an advanced cook.  If you've made seven minute icing, then it will be very familiar. Carolina slaw is one of the recipes that brings deep satisfaction to the experienced chef.

That feeling - a profound sense of accomplishment - is something less valued in the kitchen in the 21st century.  We prefer quick and easy - but flashy.  We like to impress, but are less concerned with personal satisfaction of a job well done.  We want the simplified, not the simple, as Nigella Lawson once wrote.  Carolina slaw won't be coming into fashion in the food world anytime soon, and all the better.  Those private pleasures for cooks of knowing about recipes like these is better than winning a reality television cook off championship.  There's something about keeping old ideas alive that resonates with a different kind of person than one who only wants to innovate and go viral.  I have no problem with my blogs going viral, but that's not why I write.  It's also not why I make Carolina slaw.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Cauliflower Cheese

When I was a child, cauliflower cheese was as common as macaroni and cheese. When one was offered, usually both were.  My mother's homemade mac and cheese left much to be desired.  However, her cauliflower cheese was my go-to comfort food, and still is.  Somehow, it's missed the resurgence of macaroni and cheese. It seemed to disappear just before low carb diets took off years ago. Here at the cottage, I'm happy to keep this old fashioned favorite alive.  I have improved the recipe quite a bit over the years.  I've come around to the classic approach, while still keeping it gluten free.