There are different kinds of cooks, those who preserve their cookbooks, and those who abuse their cookbooks. I fall squarely into the second camp. Nobody who has ever looked at my cookbooks would have to wonder if I use them or not. In fact, you can even tell which recipes I have made the most by which pages have the most stains & notes on them. I write notes in my books for just about everything; tips for next time, add more of this, less of that, etc… I also tend to categorize the recipes. I’m not very scientific about it, but over the years my category system has pretty much broken down into the following groups:
- Amazing – we will definitely make it again
- Good, solid every-day fare – we will definitely make it again
- Good, but – not worth the price or effort, or sometimes just because the ingredients are too hard to find here
- Calorie Bombs – these are pretty much always good, but also usually one-time only affairs
- Meh – I don’t think this one really needs an explanation
- Fail – something went horribly wrong
Why, you might ask. Well, because it was GOOD. Very GOOD! Exactly my kind of food in fact. In addition, it was not difficult or time consuming and it did not require any fancy ingredients. BUT, I can also buy it pretty easily at the grocery store.
Le Tartar, in case you have not met, is a french herb cheese spread. The consistency is light and airy, something like a whipped cream cheese, and much smoother than Boursin. It is supermarket cheese, so not high brow by any stretch of the imagination (no AOC designations for this one). I discovered it when I studied abroad in France many years ago, and I was delighted to find that it is available in my grocery store here in Germany. Smeared on a torn off stub of baguette or a nice farmhouse loaf, heaven!
So back to my original point. Dorie’s recipe was very good, but it falls into the category of so many foods which I can’t be bothered to make at home, because it is too easy to purchase at the store. Dorie’s cheese will have plenty of company in this category: fresh pasta, mayonnaise (once was enough), creme fraiche, to name but a few.