Oh-so-flavorful, lard has long has its reputation as a premiere cooking fat besmirched. We suspected lard, the tastiest and best shortening, of lurking in corners like an evil gremlin waiting to attack us. Yet, lard has been cherished by centuries of cooks for its taste and sweetness, for its properties as a shortening, for its use as a cooking fat that tends not to smoke as heavily as other fats. Science has moved us in and out of so many discussions about fats - saturated fats trans fats, omega-3 and omega-6 fats- that our heads spin. Today, chefs are embracing lard, and high-quality, unadulterated lard has returned to its valued position in the kitchen.
Lard takes us back to Grandma's time to illustrate its use in every variety of our daily cuisine. From Breads and Biscuits, to Vegetables, Main Dishes, Cookies & Brownies, Pies, Cakes and general Desserts, lard is there to add succulence to our food. With an eye to authenticity, the authors advocate the use of natural, not processed lard, giving a recipe for rendering it yourself as well as a list of resources.
We can easily imagine the superior taste of breadstuffs such as biscuits, donuts, and corn bread, but we then add tortillas and hush puppies to the savory mix. And fries of every sort rise to the sublime when cooked with lard. Try Hamburger in Cheese Popovers for a taste treat and make the crust for British Pasties with lard.
The authors give sweet recipes for a wide variety of sweets. From Wartime Sugar Cookies to Raisin-Filled Cookies, Coconut Island Cookies, School Day Cookies or Pferffernusse, there are cookies to satisfy every whim. Pies benefit from lard and there are recipes for Perfect Pastry, Frozen Pie Crust, or Refugee Pie Crust, the latter being authentically what a refugee with meager ingredients would create to keep the taste buds happy even in dire circumstances. These become delights such as Bumbleberry Pie (a jumble of fruit), Cherry Custard Pie, and ake or World War II Cake with Basic Buttercream Frosting.
Throughout the book there are sidebars and inserts giving information from those who know, as well as a little nostalgia from people who have grown up with lard, and are devoted to it today. There are color photo inserts to guide the eye. Welcome back to an old reliable friend.