half baked

How To Make Perfect Risotto

The summer after my junior year of college, I worked the prepared-foods counter at a restaurant on Newbury Street in Boston. It was called Stephanie’s, after its owner, who was an amazing chef. Stephanie made chicken breasts so tender you could almost drink them. Her julienned carrot salad sold out before noon every day. The chefs made gourmet mac and cheese in fifteen-pound batches, and there were always a couple pounds left over for the undergrad waitstaff to gratefully take home. But by far the most popular item on the menu was Stephanie's risotto.

At some point early on that summer it occurred to me that I was surrounded by [...]


You Should Eat Shad This Week

Have you had shad for dinner in the past week? If not, you should do so tonight or tomorrow night. It is one of the most delicious fish in the universe, and incredibly easy to cook, and due to the same mild winter than has local flowers and, apparently, Republican primary voters, so confused, the American shad spawning season, which usually heralds spring in March or April, has arrived early this year.


Tardelle, or Struffoli

Back when Christmas was a season of joy rather than an extended period of coping and anxiety, i.e. when I was a child, we would spend the holiday at my grandparents' in south Jersey. My folks would stay for dinner and we slept over. Every year the kids would argue that we should open our presents after the meal rather than the next morning. My father always insisted that we should wait for Christmas Day, but he was consistently overruled by my grandmother, a remarkable woman who spoiled her grandkids rotten. It's hard to even imagine now, given how emotions harden and become more transactional and transitory as you [...]


How To Cook A Fucking Steak

Go to the goddamn grocery and get steak. Yes, the grocery. A little ammonia is not going to kill you, you pussy. You want to be all fancy and grass-fed and environmentally conscious, go ahead, I don't give a shit, just get a fucking steak. Ribeye is good. And, yes, bone-in. Schmuck. Take the steak home. Get a bigass frying pan and put the shit on the stove, cranking the heat up as far as that fucker will go. Take a shitload of salt—rocksalt, you dumb motherfucker, none of that fine-grained crap here—and toss it around the bottom of the pan.


Perfect Tarte Tatin in 10 Easy Steps

The mornings have turned chilly quite suddenly and so it is apple season! And so it is also tarte tatin season. Let's talk about this.

It is the easiest of all desserts, and yet the instructions for tarte tatin are always intimidating. Witness the struggles of our pal Deb over at the wonderful Smitten Kitchen. Back in 2008, she endorsed a friend's recipe, which is very good, because she'd ruined too many herself. Finally, last spring, Deb engineered a recipe of her own, based off Julia Child's. I disagree with both of them, somewhat! Maybe even with Julia Child! (Waits for lightning bolt to strike me down.) Where [...]


Chicken & Waffle Popovers

My friend Matt is a great lover of bleach, guns, wigs, booze and chicken & waffles. And so, earlier this year when chicken & waffle cupcakes became a Thing On The Internet I knew without a doubt what we would be eating for breakfast on December 5th.

Every December 5, his birthday, the day goes something like this: At around 9 or 10 a.m., I scamper down the hallway to his apartment (even though we’re grown-ass adults we still choose to live dorm-style because it’s awesome) weighted down with packages and cupcakes and a bottle of bourbon. He makes coffee, into which we pour milk and Splenda and a [...]


How to Make and Eat the Perfect Cranberry Sauce for Thanksgiving!

Our pre-Thanksgiving cooking section has been, we hope, very helpful. Here, we show you how to make (and even eat!) the elusive perfect cranberry sauce-especially perfect for the single man alone at Thanksgiving.


Fundamentalist Macaroni and Cheese

This is the recipe for macaroni and cheese. It is the only recipe there is for macaroni and cheese. Here is what goes into it:

1. macaroni

2. cheese.

It does also include butter and milk. Think of them as more cheese.


Eggs Gorgoroth

I invented something delicious in my kitchen yesterday, which is not something that happens very often. I like eating food, and reading and watching TV shows about food, but I am not a great chef. This invention, however, was so delicious that it made me feel like Marcus Samuelsson. It's an eggs dish, a scramble, and totally simple. I'll share the recipe with you so you can feel like Marcus Samuelsson, too. (It's hardly worth the word "recipe," in fact.) Do you like picked herring?


How To Make Awesome Pot Brownies

Suddenly pot edibles are everywhere these days. You can even take a class on how to make them! Yet the basic truth remains: Most pot brownies suck. No, you don’t really eat pot brownies for the chocolaty goodness—I get it. But if you’re going to spend that kind of cash on ingredients, shouldn’t the end result at least taste good? To fix this, I called up Jerome Chang, the former pastry sous-chef at Le Cirque and the mastermind behind DessertTruck Works, a New York City food truck that was so popular it became its own restaurant.

Chang was sympathetic to my concern: “I’m not a pothead, [...]


Stir-Fried Romaine Lettuce

This barely is a recipe at all, which is the reason for it. Who is interested in cooking a side vegetable? But if you are feeding yourself, you need to include side vegetables or you will eventually develop chronic ailments. If you are feeding other people, they will be gratified by the variety and will feel properly cared-for. Multiple dishes! A balanced meal! Here is a way to do that with as little effort and attention as possible, and with only a minor amount of danger. You need: garlic. Salt. Cooking oil. One head of romaine lettuce.