I spent today opening mail, responding to e-mails and so on because I spent Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Worlds of Healthy Flavors conference and its coda, a meeting called Produce First! [sic]
Yesterday I spent driving from St. Helena to Oakland and then flying to New York.
I mentioned those confereneces two blog entries ago, and I'll probably put most of the salient points into my next column in Nation's Restaurant News, but for you, dear blog reader, are the best lines from the meeting.
Karen MacNeil, on the aroma in Pinot Noir wines described as animale: “The slightly sweaty, sexy smell of men who have run one mile, but not five.”
Rick Bayless on Tex-Mex: “That comforting food with melted cheese.”
Suvir Saran, explaining that “curry” means a whole range of stews, not the curry powder, which was invented by the British: “If you hate curry, blame the British, if you love curry, thank us and call it something else.”
Suvir Saran, on how little Americans know about India, but really talking generally: “The ignorance of people actually educates.”
Suvir Saran, again: “Asafoetida is nature’s Beano.”
And now, a recipe for terrific batter for making frito misto, or really batter-frying anything (you might not think that this is the best recipe to take away from a conference on healthful food, but one point at the conference was that everything is fine in moderation, except for trans fats):
3 cups cake flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 tablespoon salt
Mix the dry ingredients and then stir in the club soda until the mixture is the texture of heavy cream.
And that’s it!