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Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The Intolerant Gourmet Book Launch Party

Last week, I was honored to attend the book launch party for Barbara Kafka's newest cookbook, The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food without Gluten & Lactose at the lovely Swann Auction Galleries. To be honest, I knew very little about Mrs. Kafka prior to the invitation but as I began my research about her book and her life I knew I was going to a very prestigious event. 

Barbara Kafka is a recipient of the James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Within the food world, this is one of the highest honors. She has written six books, with The Intolerant Gourmet being her most recent. Barbara has also been a regular contributor to the New York Times and has written articles for food publications around the globe. With her cookbook history and her food world pedigree, it was a honor to be a part of this party.

5 years ago, Mrs. Kafka's food intolerances of her youth came back with a vengeance. She suddenly found herself both gluten and dairy intolerant. The world sometimes plays evil tricks on human beings and this is one of those times. A world-renowned food expert and cookbook writer could no longer eat her own recipes. Yet, Mrs. Kafka embraced this new chapter in her life and published a book of 300 recipes, "not a single one of which is a compromise."

Barbara Kafka and Erin Smith

Smoked Salmon and Mango Bites
I met wonderful people at this book launch party, including Barbara Kafka herself. She and I spoke openly about food intolerances and she encouraged me to try the pass hors d'oeuvres, all of which were gluten-free. As one of the only people with celiac in the room, it was really very special to be there. The crowd were the top notch members of the food community and Mrs. Kafka's close friends and family and I was there. Definitely a "pinch me" moment!

I think this new book would make a wonderful present for both those who are gluten-free/lactose-free and those who are not. It is a beautiful book with wonderful recipes that do not compromise flavor just because gluten and dairy are not in the recipes themselves. The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food without Gluten & Lactose is available now and you can buy directly through Amazon just in time for the holidays!

Here is a recipe from Mrs. Kafka's book, which was also served at the party!

Very Spicy Popcorn, from The Intolerant Gourmet
Very Spicy Popcorn

Makes 1 ½ Quarts

Come drink time, there is often a need for a spicy snack. This is it, and crunchy too—not
for the fainthearted.

3 tablespoons safflower oil
¼ cup popcorn kernels
1 ½ tablespoons Barbara’s Five-Spice Powder
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Add half of the oil and all of the kernels to a 4-quart pot with a lid over medium
heat. Leave the lid slightly ajar to allow some steam to escape. Cook, shaking the pot occasionally, until the popping sounds start to die down, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the popcorn to a bowl. Stir the remaining oil and the space powder into the pot over medium heat until it becomes fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the popcorn back into the pot, toss until well and evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Barbara’s Five-Spice Powder
Makes 1 Tablespoon

This is my own special seasoning blend that can be used in or on many things. It keeps well in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator, so it is worth multiplying. It is used in Spicy Kisses and Simplest Lunch.

½ teaspoon ground star anise (1 or 2 whole star anise; see Note)
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Place the star anise in a mini food processor (or coffee grinder) and pulse until pulverized. Pour the powder into a mesh strainer over a small metal bowl to get rid of any remaining chunks. Add the other ingredients and mix well.

Note: Eight to 10 whole star anise (1/4 ounce) will make 1 generous tablespoon of ground star anise.

Credit: Excerpted from “The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food without Gluten & Lactose by Barbara Kafka (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2011. 

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2 Comments:

Blogger ackdavis said...

A very generous preview of this book is online at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Intolerant-Gourmet-Glorious-without-Lactose/dp/1579653944#reader_1579653944 You can read Barbara's comments and several recipes. They sound delicious!

Blogger Erin Smith, Editor said...

ACK, it really was a very lovely event. Being the only gluten-free blogger there made it even more special. I was honored to be invited!

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