At yesterday’s lunch at the James Beard House (I know…I can’t believe I was invited either) to celebrate the reissue of James Beard’s American Cookery (an absolute elephant of a cookbook that includes recipes for everything under the sun, including squirrel and whole pig), I got to sit between this guy and an absolutely wonderful senior editor from Food & Wine. I had so much fun chatting with them that I almost forgot to attend to my lunch.
What we ate (all recipes from the cookbook, of course): Potato & leek soup (which according to David Leite is distinct from potage parmentier because the latter contains a smaller amount of leeks), breaded chicken breasts, and apple pie. And it was all very delicious, but you know what the highlight of the meal was?
This. I know, it looks like a pretty run-of-the-mill smoked salmon hors d’oeuvre, but it was made about ten thousand times better than average by the addition of a small piece of lemon on top (as opposed to the traditional squeeze of lemon juice directly onto the salmon itself). Doing this next time I have reason to whip up dainty passed sandwiches.
P.S. The foreword to the new edition was written by Tom Colicchio, who apparently showed up and mingled during the reception in advance of lunch. I, of course, had no idea why everyone was suddenly all aflutter and missed the opportunity to meet him. …Next time?