All afternoon and from inside his parent’s house, as Bill and I sit outside in the comfort of lawn chairs talking, trumpeters one after another run through their scales, do re mi fa sol la ti do, over and over again. The notes drop from the open windows like fall leaves from the trees. It … Continue reading The Music Lesson
I don’t make anything fancy for Thanksgiving. I like, and my family likes, a good homey kind of Thanksgiving. One that we have eaten in some iteration for as long as I can remember. I figured out a long time ago my food is far better when I don’t try to hide behind fancy. Don’t … Continue reading Day Two: Green Bean Casserole
As a kid, learning to cook a fried egg and bologna sandwich is like teaching me how to load a gun without establishing any safety guidelines. While the combination of griddled bread, egg yolk, mayonnaise, seared bologna, and American cheese is white trash foie gras, perfecting the fried bologna without having made a grilled cheese, … Continue reading Cheats, Lies, and Hucksters (How to Cook a God Damned Grilled Cheese Sandwich)
What you need to know about lentil soup is everyone has their “simple” version. Knowing this, it reminds me how easy it is to get a nutritious hot bowl of soup to the table. It also tells me that it must taste really good if there is a reason to keep publishing simple lentil soup … Continue reading A Delicious Lentil Soup With A Dirty Little Secret
Just about anything can be cooked in a pressure cooker. It does lots of things well. Stews, roasts, soups and one pots all come to the table hot and delicious. Even so, what really keeps the pressure cooker on the stove top is the basics. A pressure cooker cooks beans, grains, rice, and stocks effortlessly … Continue reading A Simple Pot Of Beans (And Tips For Pressure Cooking Them)
Next to farm fresh brown eggs, nothing conjures up an image of the farmhouse kitchen quite like the site of a pressure cooker. It’s Rockwellian in that it brings to mind iconic images of the aproned farmer’s wife peeling home grown carrots at the counter while on the stove behind her sits a huge pot-like contraption whistling and blowing steam through a small whole in its lid.
The image leaves you with a feeling of wholesomeness much like homemade whole wheat bread. It’s as if the pressure cooker does something magical that only the farmer’s wife knows. After all, for some reason, we always equate wholesome home cooking with the country kitchen. Continue reading “Pressure Cookers + Chicken and Dumplings”
If you can fortify coffee by whizzing in butter and making it into an emulsion of sorts, or make fortified wine by upping the alcohol to give it a boost, aging it, and calling it port then why not fortify your bone broth? Great chefs have known the deliciousness of consommé for centuries. Now I … Continue reading Putting the Bullet into Your Bone Broth: Consommé
I ran out of booze last night. It is a rare occasion that I would let that happen but I did it on purpose. Even though I miscalculated by a day or two and because I have no intention of replacing it for a while, this does nothing but allow me to start my fitness … Continue reading A 90 Day Fitness Challenge (Breakfast Day One)
This is a television feature piece I did recently on venison. Click continue reading for the recipe.
While it might not be haute cuisine, chopped meat is surely economical, flavorful, and versatile. From meatballs to croquettes to tacos, it can do it all and can do it with ease. It is an uncomplicated ingredient, often interchangeable, and more often than not is a beacon signaling out comfort food to anyone within range.
Take for example chopped steak: it is nothing new. Salisbury steak for instance has been around since 1897. Named after a doctor, Dr. Salisbury, who created it. Salisbury was also a believer in a low-carb diet, fancy that. Continue reading “Recipe Reclamation: Bringing Back Chopped Steak”
I use a pair of kitchen tongs and quickly flip a steak, pull back to let my hand cool for a split second before diving in again behind the safety of the tongs to flip another. The hair on my forearm recoils from the heat. Even with a long pair of kitchen tongs I can’t bear the sting of the glowing coals like I used too.
I have lost my commercial kitchen hands. The hands that could take the heat without flinching, the same hands that could grab thermonuclear plates, or could move steaks around on a grill without ever noticing the heat. The heat abused hands that were once this line cooks badge of honor.
The wind shifts, a wisp of white smoke blows back. My eyes catch a little before I can turn and shut them. The smoke underneath my eyelids stings and my eyes begin to water. Continue reading “Grilling: Tips, Skirt Steak and more…”
We all know gravy or pan sauce in large quantities might be good for our soul but it isn’t so good for our heart health. After all we are doing nothing more then adding flour or cornstarch to the fat in the bottom of a roasting or sauté pan to thicken it and adding back … Continue reading The Unctuous Possibilities of Pan Juices
Back when I thought I could eat gluten I was a biscuit hound. It was nothing for me to scarf down two or three. I have been known to forgo the rest of dinner for a good biscuit. I always considered myself a connoisseur, from angel biscuits to crescents or buttermilk to sweet potato I … Continue reading Saving Grace Biscuits
I am not perfect and don’t plan to be anytime soon. I buy to much when I should do with less and I always seem to waste more then I think I should. I try to do better. I compost because I have a garden, I use glass cups instead of plastic, I don’t do … Continue reading The iPad Stand
For some it might have been potato or green bean, but for me my gratin affinity began at an early age with macaroni and cheese. You know, the good old-fashioned kind with real cheddar and whole milk thickened with roux or egg yolks. The one that is baked until the correct ratio of crispy, crunchy … Continue reading Celery Root and Potato Gratin
Don’t think because the package says it was washed three times that you don’t have too. I make one assumption when it comes to vegetables. I assume a herd of cows walked through the veggie patch right before someone picked my food. Keep in mind cows are not discrete. Their bathroom is the great wide … Continue reading Scrub Those Veggies
Sure, I know, every chef says you should just wet a kitchen towel and put it under your cutting board, or bowl or whatever you don’t want to slide around. Well that is easy to say when you have an industrial laundry service and who wants a wet towel sitting under their cutting board anyway. … Continue reading Non-Slip Drawer Liners
Plastic dough scrapers make one of the best dirty dish cleaning tools around. For my pans they are non-scratch, get into the crooks and crannies removing all the stuck on stuff in a jiff. I always have two on hand just for dirty jobs like getting the ring of crud around the top of a … Continue reading Plastic Dough Scrapers
I don’t know why I haven’t made this lately. I developed this recipe for a fish and seafood class I used to teach at the local culinary school. It might seem bell-less and whistle-less but don’t let it fool you. It is a workhorse soup that is deeply satisfying in a working class bar sorta … Continue reading Manhattan Clam Chowder
I really like chowders and really like French onion soup. I don’t like pasty chowders so I didn’t thicken it except for the starch released from the potatoes. One tip I learned from Jasper White’s 50 Chowders is to let the chowder rest covered for thirty minutes. It is really does make a difference by … Continue reading Three Onion Chowder
Good soup is hard to come by but it isn’t hard to make good soup. It’s only as difficult as you want to make it. While I know there are all kinds of prepared soups on the shelves of every supermarket I just can’t bring myself to do anything other than make it from scratch. … Continue reading Chicken and Rice Soup with Saffron
A French onion soup recipe isn’t exactly uncommon. I am not even going to say this one is the best as in best ever French onion soup because that would be like saying my religion is the best, or the only, which is just not true. So why publish or blog this recipe? Well because … Continue reading French Onion Soup
Don’t let its simplicity fool you. A well made dashi packs a wallop and is the foundation of Japanese cuisine. If you want the real deal you have to make this stuff from scratch. Possibly the easiest stock of all to make but again you will have to make a trip to the Asian grocery. … Continue reading Dashi