Posts Tagged: Cooking

Don't Meat the Eggplant

Most summer produce has a cult of worship; there are those who wait all year for the few weeks of tomato season, those who will serve fresh corn with every meal, those who will gorge on peaches until the sweet-tart juice carves furrows into their faces like Grand Canyon erosion writ small. But there is one item which rarely if ever inspires devotion. I’m speaking here of the noble eggplant.

Many people do not like eggplant. Common complaints are that it is spongy, or bitter, or mushy. All of these are symptoms of improper cooking. Because, friends, when eggplant is cooked properly it can achieve something few other fruits [...]


Fake Pappardelle In Brodo

Here is my end of summer/transition into fall recipe for you. It's good for a random household weekend dinner, and it's good for end of summer when you're like "ugh what is in this fridge?" It's sort of inspired by the brodo recipes they've been cooking at Brucie on Court Street in Brooklyn.

Two disclaimers:

1. Italians will most likely be aghast at this. SORRY. I know, you perfected pasta. You people make gross desserts, so there. (Okay, sure, I'll give you cannoli.)

2. This isn't one of those braggy "look what I can dooooo" recipes! This is published not in the hopes that you'll follow it, but that [...]


The Sunday Night Facebook Cooking Club

This fall I found myself in a little Sunday night advice ritual. I would leave something half-finished in the kitchen, and then go sit down on the living room couch with my laptop and go to Facebook.

October 7, 6:17pm: “It's Sunday, so that means a cooking question for facebook. I have cashew chicken going in the crock pot – what's the best/easiest way to cook broccoli to go with/under it?”

I cook on Sunday evenings because this is the way I can manage to have meals for the week, leftovers for as many lunches as I can manage. It's a strategy I probably learned from the internet [...]


12 Hurricane Recipes, from Pot Brownies to Bolognese

I already made this apple pie! Using, essentially, this pie crust, and then "throwing apples inside it" and "baking it." GAZE UPON MY CRUST AND DESPAIR. What have YOU done with your life today? Please don't go hungry. Bad things happen to people locked in houses who get hungry. Here are some tips, depending on the staples you purchased drunk and at the last moment yesterday.

• Got apples? Tarte Tatin.

• Got arborio rice? Risotto.

• Got pot? It's pot brownies.

• Got lemons? These lemon squares are A+.

• Got lettuce? Stir-fry for you.

• Cherries? Meet clafoutis.

• Plums? [...]


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 [...]


How To Make Bourbon Salt

It's come to my attention that a request for bourbon salt has been made, and I feel that it's a safe assumption that if I don't take up this call to NaCl no one reputable will. Which makes me worried for those who wish to try some, who might otherwise be left to cast about, seeking out bourbon salt from sketchy characters and wandering into dark alleys at all times of the night and I already have enough to fret over. So here, I made you some bourbon salt.

Because I think of bourbon as stronger and sweeter than wine, I decided to go with a cup and a [...]


T-Bone, For Two

A series on things to make, eat and imbibe this summer.

You know what? Forget about groups and gatherings. Enough with the ever-faithful host to the hordes, the slaving over the hot grill for others just to watch them bogart all of your ribs. Deep into the dog days of summer, it's time to slow down and relax with a somewhat indulgent meal. Save it for one of those summer Saturday nights when you have nothing planned and nowhere particular to go. Sometimes a delightful summer evening requires nothing more than you and your sweetheart. And a huge hunk of beef.

Main: T-Bone Fiorentina Sides: Grilled ramps and [...]


Fucking Steak And How To Cook It

Awww, the New York Times thinks it has "a rock-solid new system" for cooking steak at home. That's so cute! Adorable! I am both tickled and amused by this delightful attempt at disrupting the cooking-steak-at-home space. It's just so sweet! Also LISTEN UP NEW YORK TIMES DINING READERS, NEW YORK TIMES DINING WRITERS AND ANYONE ELSE WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE: This is how you cook a fucking steak. There is no other way, and there will be no further discussion or appeals [...]


Some Cats Eat Better Than Some People

"Celebrity chef Simon Rimmer has created the world's most luxurious cat food featuring roasted duck, lobster sushi roll and Beluga caviar." —I haven't watched this all the way through, so I suppose it's possible that right at the end he has some clarifying realization about the implications of everything he's spent the last five minutes doing and, in a moment of repentance for the horrors over which he has just presided, stabs himself with one of his kitchen knives, but again, I didn't stay until the finish to see, so it's also possible that he did not.


My Ambitious Attempt To Make Puerto Rican Pasteles

A series about foods we miss and our quests to recreate them.

Like most good Puerto Ricans, my mother was born in the Bronx. But growing up, I spent a decent amount of time in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, where my grandparents lived until I was in my 20s. There, as kids, my brother and I chased lizards in the backyard, enjoyed coconut right off the tree, listened to coqui frogs at night and roosters in the wee hours of the morning through open louvered windows. Everything on TV was in Spanish (which we didn't speak), so we explored a lot. We were also exposed to some dishes that, while [...]


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 [...]


My Attempt To Make The Fritters I Loved As A Kid

A series about foods we miss and our quests to recreate them.

In elementary school, back in the 70s in Tempe, Arizona, one of my favorite meals was something called Farmers Fritters. On Friday nights, our mother whipped up a batch of the thin, crisp, tangy-sweet cottage-cheese pancakes, which were actually more like little crepes. She used to put her huge rectangular electric skillet in the middle of the table, and my sisters and I sat around it while she made fritters in batches, sliding them around onto everyone's plates.

While we ate these fritters with homemade applesauce and huge puddles of Aunt Jemima syrup, we sometimes told stories, [...]


My Doomed Attempt To Make Jjajangmyeon At Home

A series about foods we miss and our quests to recreate them.

When I was little my father used to take me and my brothers into L.A.'s Koreatown after Korean Church. We would often stop by the Joonggook jip (Korean-Chinese restaurant) for a steaming bowl of my favorite lunch, jjajangmyeon, a roasted black soybean sauce served over hand-pulled thick wheat noodles. My father would always tuck a paper napkin under my chin, since the inky sauce was liable to leave flecky dark-brown stains on my white Sunday shirt.

Now I'm grown, and I no longer feel comfortable wearing a makeshift bib in public. To avoid visible stains I [...]


How To Enjoy A Pasty When You're Not In North Michigan

A series about foods we miss and our quests to recreate them.

While there are many things that Michigan is known for (Motown; the dying American auto industry; Robocop), its cuisine is probably not what springs first to mind. When Michigan foods are mentioned, the references tend to be agricultural—corn, morels, muskmelons, blueberries, cherries—rather than culinary. But there is one dish that allows us to, rightfully, wax rhapsodic: the humble pasty.

The pasty is the definitive dish of Michigan, particularly the Upper Peninsula, although the downstate natives (I am one) can be equally passionate about it and partisan in their wars over the right ingredients. It was brought [...]


How To Write A Book

"The secret ingredient for TV chef Nigella Lawson’s cookbooks was cocaine, a former aide testified in London Tuesday."


Eight Great Things You Can Eat This Spring That Are Definitely Not Ramps

Ramps are fine. I will not bash any of the members of the House Of Allium, one of the most illustrious families of food. Tasty things can and have been done with them! But they are neither the only nor the best item that springtime has to offer. Eating seasonally does not necessarily require spending seven dollars on five tiny leafy scallions. This is not ramp season, my friends. This is a time of so much more. Here's a list of timely delicacies you should be gorging on, sans ramps.

SHAD and SHAD ROE Shad is a fish in the herring family, sometimes called a river herring. It migrates in [...]


My Attempt To Make Jamaican Escovitch Without The Burn

A series about foods we miss and our quests to recreate them.

While we all know Jamaica owes many of its food and cultural influences to British weirdoes (see: love of porridges; how my mother writes "Many happy returns!" in my birthday card every year), what is less known is the Spanish influence on the island.

The Spanish "discovered" Jamaica a long time ago. I, admittedly, am somewhat fuzzy on all the details of Jamaican history, but here's what you need to know: The Spanish came first in 1494—some say it was Columbus, some say it was another dude. No matter. Today, we call the place where the Spanish [...]


Baby, I Will Handle Your Food All Night

"Preparing a meal — not just the eating that follows — is a multisensory experience that can expose many behaviors, from creativity and generosity to control issues and messiness. Cooking with someone who knows his or her way around the kitchen can be a kind of foreplay — or, on the flip side, it could send up deadly red flags. Pay attention to everything: not just kitchen skills but how he or she reacts in preliminary discussions about the meal, shops, handles the food and the bill and more. There may not be clinical evidence, but as a professional chef who has shared my kitchen with countless friends and [...]


Chicken With Ball Bearings: How To Cook Like A Futurist

After years of disavowing the unwanted, unloved phrase "molecular gastronomy," the culinary avant-garde was gifted in 2010 with a new umbrella term under which to gather: Modernist cuisine. The name came from Nathan Myhrvold, whose five-volume doorstop of a cookbook of the same title offers both a history of culinary thought and detailed descriptions of the techniques and recipes pioneered by the likes of Ferran Adrià and Heston Blumenthal. (A shorter version is due out in October.)

Before diving into the proverbial immersion circulator, Myhrvold turns to art history to make the case for the title Modernist Cuisine. Writing on the artistic advancements of the Impressionists, Myhrvold expresses [...]


How To Make Sofrito, The DIY Condiment

It’s morning in the American supermarket. As the Sriracha rooster crows, Jemima, a working mother, drops the kids off at Miss Butterworth’s daycare. Liquid-Plumr (call him Joe) dreams of a better life and lower taxes, and it’s all lion dances and bar mitzvahs in the ethnic aisle with Messieurs La Choy and Manischewitz. Corporations are people, too, but it’s worthwhile to keep in mind that even the most storied and iconic brand sauces and flavor bases started out as somebody’s homemade recipe. So let’s come home to Sofrito, the condiment you can make yourself.

The word “sofrito” derives from the Catalan verb “sofrefir”—to fry lightly. A sofrito is generally understood [...]