Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Should you trust a guy in a crooked bow tie?

Today, because I can't resist an old guy in an off-kilter striped bow tie and a boldly-patterned black and red apron, we have New Recipes for the Cuisinart by James Beard and Carl Jerome (copyright 1976, although mine is a 1978 printing).

He looks so proud of his Cuisinart with raw vegetables and meat heaped around it. (That seems like a good way to spread food poisoning to me, but what do I know? I don't even have a bow tie.)

The recipes are not, as one might expect, all for things that need to be chopped up. Here's a lovely bread recipe:

Yes, a rich, eggy brioche loaf, made easy since much of the mixing and kneading is done by the food processor. This could make for some yummy sandwiches...

...if your idea of a yummy sandwich is raw onion and mayonnaise, dipped in parsley. The only thing that appeals to me here is the parsley, but even if you like mayo and raw onion, I'm guessing you will think there's something missing! Aren't mayo and onion usually the garnishes rather than the main attraction?

Other recipes try to find unusual ways to use common ingredients from the processor. Using it to make shredded cabbage for something like cole slaw is pretty standard. It's serviceable, but not exciting. What else is there to do with shredded cabbage?

How about cabbage custard? At least it's not a sweet vanilla custard trying to incorporate hunks of cabbage, as I feared when I saw the title, but I think I'd rather have my cheese sauce baked with macaroni. I imagine this turning into a watery, smelly mess, but maybe the bread crumbs absorb enough liquid that it will only be smelly? (What a sad little hope!)

If cabbage custard isn't strange enough for you, how about this:

Anchoiade Nicoise starts out seeming innocent enough-- toasted filberts, dried figs... It sounds like a nice fruit-and-nut bar recipe for hikers or backpackers. I'm almost ready to toss a couple in my backpack and take a hike. Then the recipe takes a turn for the weird by calling for anchovies and garlic! Larabars do not come in an anchovy-and-garlic variety, and I don't think that's an oversight on the company's part. Apparently James Beard and Carl Jerome might beg to differ.

Happy Cookbook Wednesday, and a bit thank you to Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet for hosting, as always.


  1. Mayo & onion?! That's not James Beard, that's an imposter in a crooked bowtie

  2. His brioche is top notch, but raw onion and mayo just sounds so wrong. Or, as Phairhead said, an imposter in a crooked bow tie.

    I've linked you up for Cookbook Wednesday!

  3. Nice review. Beard was really into making money, like writing for a specific manufacturer, so perhaps his recipes weren't as inspired as one would like. I have one of his non-ad cookbooks that's pretty good. He was so influential and that now seems mysterious, doesn't it?

    1. It does! I think all of my Beard books are sponsored, so I probably don't have his best recipes-- but that's what I like!