1.) Cooking an ear of corn is too much work.
These recipes are often also quite labor intensive. In spicy dishes, cooking time and lots of ingredients can substitute for prep work. When you're simplifying the flavors, that means more prep work, since you can't use processed stuff from the supermarket, and precision cooking. That corn dish above isn't terribly difficult, but you do need to shuck all those ears of corn, then slice the kernels off, then make brown butter while watching it intently to ensure it doesn't go from "brown" to "carbonized," then boil the kernels for exactly a minute in salted water, then fish them out with a strainer, and plop them into the pan with the brown butter ... and a lot of you thought "sheesh, never mind" sometime around Step 3. Moreover, unlike spicy ragouts or casseroles, all this prep has to be done shortly before you eat, meaning there's no lounging around with the guests in the living room during cocktail hour. Or arriving home from work half an hour before serving dinner.
We also learn here that:
2.) McArdle usually does not use fresh ingredients and therefore finds shucking corn to be onerous.
3.) McArdle doesn't understand the concept of simply preparing and eating a quality ingredient to enjoy its (nearly) pure flavor.
4.) McArdle find it much more convenient to buy prepared ingredients and do most of the cooking in advance or in a crock pot.
5.) McArdle wants precise instructions, she does not want to cook to taste.
6. McArdle still wants to coat everything will fat.
And let's not forget the funny: McArdle invariably ruins every recipes by blithely making everything up as she goes along. Perhaps she enjoys the result and that is why she cooks the way she does, as she should.
And our new household favorite: chicken roasted with Thomas Keller's recipe, above a pan filled with new potatoes, frozen artichoke hearts and pearl onions. Without all the spices, you get the simple, perfect flavors of the underlying ingredients. This is the sort of cooking that April Bloomfield's new cookbook aims at, and I heartily recommend that you try it.In the linked recipe, Keller specifically says he wants a dry heat; he even coats the poultry with salt to draw out moisture. McArdle adds water-heavy frozen ingredients directly under the chicken where it can steam the chicken while bathing the vegetables in chicken juice and fat. To retain one's elite status one must disseminate the latest elite wisdom but that doesn't mean one has to follow it.
Which leads us to our next lesson:
7. McArdle wants to convince everyone she is an elite foodie when she is really a 1950s housewife whose tastes do not match her culinary reach. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But it just doesn't project the image McArdle wants, so we are entertained by justifications for doing what she wants even when it isn't elite.