Stalking Padma in the Kitchen: The Appetizer


Gansie recently got her hands on a copy of Padma Lakshmi’s cookbook Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet, which of course I promptly stole. As has been mentioned countless times on ES, while this pretty face may not be a trained chef, girl really can cook. The book is a healthy 250 pages of recipes ranging from simplistic snacks (grilled cheese toastie with portobello and bacon) to complex crap I can’t even imagine making, like Moroccan b’stella. Of course, there are also ample photos of Padma salaciously chowing down on a fried chicken drumstick and the like.

While I’m not gonna do a full cookbook-through on this one for ya’ll, I am trying a few of the most enticing recipes, from appetizer through dessert course, so here’s my first attempt.

Padma’s Mushroom and Goat Cheese Flautas aren’t the most original thing going in the book, but it was such a delicious-sounding idea, I had to give it a try. This yuppie take on the Mexican classic really isn’t that complicated to make, but serves as a crispy and flavorful first course (or just east them all yourself for a main).

I won’t write up the full, patented recipe, but the basic idea is to chop up some portobellos, sautee them and then mix up with cheese. P’ma recommends feta mixed with ricotta–I just went with a tube of generic goat cheese and thought it worked well. Then the shrooms and cheese are just rolled up in flour tortillas and cooked for a minute or two in really hot oil. For the full recipe, check out page 11 of THTandS.

Result: Love ’em. Never really thought of flautas as something that could be made easily at home, but I’m def gonna add these to my dinner party repertoire. Grade: Four Padmas, out of a possible five.


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