Wednesday, September 03, 2003

So here's my thing with A New Way to Cook. I think it's the greatest cookbook I've ever seen, and it has never no not once let me down... but. I still don't always trust it. I have yet to make Sally Schneider's macaroni and cheese because, c'mon. Rice cream? Or her mayonnaise. It involves tofu.

And while she's converted me to the tiny amount of butter actually required for slow cooked, tender caramelized onions, I sometimes double it or triple it anyway. And then kick myself, because there is no real difference in the end product. And I love her pastry dough. Sometimes I make it solely to force people to eat it and guess how much butter is in it. Practically none, really, but you would never know.

So the problem is clearly me. And last night, when we made her cold spicy sesame noodles, I had some high anxiety going on. First, it was the first time I'd done more than read approvingly the back sections of the book- the flavored oils, rubs and things that are really the key, I think, and yet have remained too much hassle for me to try. I made my own Chinese five flavor oil. And then used only one tablespoon of oil for the noodles. One tablespoon for four servings of noodles. This is madness, I thought, and wondered what I would do when the noodles came out disappointing. Run to TJ's and make sandwiches? Heat the frozen pear and gorgonzola pizza in the freezer? Call out for more bad Chinese?

I don't know why I put myself through this. The noodles were the best cold spicy sesame noodles I've ever had. Sally Schneider, why do I doubt thee?