In the last 20 years, things have gotten miles better for people trying to cook from a modern cookbook. Back then, one couldn’t pick up a best-selling cookbook (not that they kept separate statistics back then) and make half the recipes in it without having to substitute an ingredient or a piece of kitchen equipment because it wasn’t available locally. And, no, there wasn’t an internet from which to track down and order exotica. I remember thinking how shameful it was that I had to order from Zabar’s the 14-inch cast-iron skillet that a friend living in rural Illinois requested for a wedding present. What was the world coming to when country folks had to get skillets from New York City? I felt like my grandmother ordering from the Sears & Roebuck catalog.
Time marches on, of course, and there I was, a couple of days ago, idling my way through the Kitchen Conservatory. They’ve increased their stock of food items since my last visit, and I was delighted to discover frozen all-butter puff pastry in their freezer case. Too many times have I seen instructions in cookbooks and magazines blithely say, "...or use frozen puff pastry, but only the kind made with all butter."
Maybe puff pastry doesn’t intimidate you. It certainly does me. Lots and lots of quite good restaurants use the frozen stuff, and I won’t be ashamed to, either, now that I have access to it. Just be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator rather than on the counter.
Dufour All-Butter Puff Pastry, 16 oz., $12.95
8021 Clayton Rd., Clayton