Skilletlicker:(And Michael, if you want!)
Sometimes we tend to bristle at terms or labels we put on things, even though they might be true.
As a "Brit" (although I prefer to be known as an Englishman), I often express things more bluntly than you "Americans" - that's just culture difference.
Whether the recipe was/is a "peasant" dish or not, is really irrelevant. Some of the most delicious dishes in the world ( and I drool as I think of an Indian peasant dish " Bazaar Potatoes"!!!) are so ridiculously simple, no-one can believe it. And the "peasants" invented them.
I'd venture a wild guess and say a Hamburger is a peasant dish.
Yorkshire Pudding is definitely
a peasant dish.
An exotic "Sancocho de Pescado" is - a peasant dish.
One of my big complaints over here in Venezuela is the affinity to drown things in fat. A cup of fat - a little bit of onion,....It is a common denominator across the continent, unfortunately. The answer is to use less. I often eat a freshly deep-fried cornmeal empanada when I go to the market - and attach 4 or 5 serviettes to the bottom to drain off the fat. Grungy, but good.
Recipes are what you make of them. Hey, I never use dried garlic powder or dried onion powder; but that's just me. I use minimal amounts of oil and salt - everyone to their own. I very, very rarely use margarine, because I prefer butter.
So to sum up - I often do what you do. I look at a recipe and snarl, steam comes out of my ears... but then I think, hey, if I did that with this, that or the other ingredient, it might taste just right - and it usually does. What's more, I can add a fancy "foreign" name and no-one will know the difference! Does it matter? No! Only if the food tastes bad.
Oh - and I never follow a recipe exactly, unless it's mine!