Today, sweetpotatoes have a respected place in the LunaCafe kitchen. I have learned to use their inherent sweetness, creaminess, richness, and gorgeous color as a foil for numerous complimentary ingredients, particularly bold, spicy, and acidic counterparts. When a savory sweetpotato dish fails, it is usually because of blandness and sweetness that are not balanced with sufficient acid. I rarely buy a bag of sweetpotatoes without also thowing in a couple of juicy limes or a bottle of fresh, acidic apple cider — both are perfect sweetness balancers, and add interesting and complementary flavors as well.
Macaroni and Cheese is one of the easiest dishes in the world to prepare and surely one of the most wonderful, which probably accounts for the million-and-one versions that hurried, hungry folks have come up with over the years. (If you read to the end of this post, you will get to my most fabulous rendition, which I promised you a few weeks ago in Quintessential Mac & Cheese, Part 1, which reviews the best of all the Mac & Cheese I ate last year in Seattle, Portland, and Boston restaurants, complete with photos.)
I have a lot of cookbooks: hundreds, many hundreds, many many hundreds, who knows how many hundreds? I read them–voraciously and compulsively–like mystery novels, looking for clues. Clues to the artistic intention, vision, and personality behind the recipes and the rhetoric. A Voice with something unique to say–or if not unique, then honest, sincere, compelling, [...]