anti-fergettinizin' mechanism.

For a long time I seriously considered writing some ind of a cookbook, but now more than ever I'm pretty sure I don't see the point of it, we hardly really need one more stupie person telling people how to cook, etc.

But, I saw this quote today and it reminded me that I always kind of did imagine saying something about salt in my imaginary cookbook. Not to sound like I know what I'm doing, but carefully salting and tasting every component of a dish before it's served is probably the most important thing I do right in the kitchen.

But also, one should always keep in mind Peter Gallagher's wise, wise wisdom from Sex, Lies, and Videotape:

Graham (to Ann): Dinner was very good.
John: Yeah, it wasn't bad, honey. Usually Ann achieves a kind of critical mass with the salt, but, uh, tonight was...I always tell her, you can always add more, but you can't take it away.
Ann: Yeah, you say that, don't you?


Anyway. Here's what I saw today, I'm agreeing with the "use more than you're comfortable with" part, not the "salt things until they taste like the sea," though I can see experimenting with that:

Nosrat frees her readers to use their own senses instead of measuring cups. 
She says we should salt things until they taste like the sea — which is a beautiful image, but also sounds like an awful lot of salt. 
"Just use more than you're comfortable with, I think is a good rule for most people," she says. You know, especially when you're boiling things in salted water, the idea is that most foods don't spend much time in that water. So the idea is to make it salty enough that the food can absorb enough salt and become seasoned from within. A lot of times you end up using less salt, total, if you get the salt right from within, because then the thing isn't over seasoned on the outside and bland in the center."


This post was originally just to remind all y'all that if you make a big pot of great black beans on Saturday, you can certainly have a few then, but then the next day you can make this salad, and the day after that you can make a soup like this one minus the wine and the full can of chipotles...and it still doesn't feel like too much black beans.

None of which has to do with the above picture, which was about trying to create a satisfying vegetarian version of the Dutch classic of white asparagus with buttered potatoes, ham, hard-boiled egg, and more butter. My ham substitute was mushrooms cooked in quite a lot of, yes, butter, with smoked salt and smoked paprika, not bad at all.


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