The Wonder Of Store-Bought Crackers

I have a deep affinity for crackers.  Not gourmet varieties, or even homemade, but good old plain Jane everyday crackers, be it Captain’s wafers, or saltines, and especially any kind that comes two-to-a-pack.   I don’t think anyone needs a reason to like crackers  but my fondness, I am certain, begins with my childhood memory of … Continue reading The Wonder Of Store-Bought Crackers

Memphis Style Barbecue Nachos

Great barbecue is about the cut of meat, the smoke, the rub, and the sauce. But just because sauce is only one part of the equation, doesn't mean it shouldn't be excellent. In fact, barbecue sauce should be so delicious that you can use it for much more than simply dipping or brushing. I like … Continue reading Memphis Style Barbecue Nachos

Poulet á l’ Estragon (Chicken Tarragon)

Spring always seems rushed. It's as if we spend months climbing a mountain called winter, and when we finally reach the peak, we're so grateful that we run as fast as we can down the other side -- past spring and directly into summer. It's even true for the vegetables we're attracted to -- the … Continue reading Poulet á l’ Estragon (Chicken Tarragon)

The New Steak (+ a Recipe for Duck Teriyaki)

A whole roast duck is as satisfying to eat as it is pretty on the table; while foie gras is a rich man's food and confit is pure comfort, a delicious seared and crispy-skinned duck breast is one of the real luxuries of eating. Duck is versatile, but quirky to cook. And when something is … Continue reading The New Steak (+ a Recipe for Duck Teriyaki)

Tips for Reading Recipes (& Chinese Style Honey Hoisin Sticky Ribs)

Chef Leichte spun on the balls of his feet. A millisecond ago he was heading forward, and I was following him. Now we are face to face, and he pokes my chest with his finger. "Commit!" he says in a raised voice, his chef's toque rising from his head and towering above me like the … Continue reading Tips for Reading Recipes (& Chinese Style Honey Hoisin Sticky Ribs)

Recipe Reclamation: Bringing Back Chopped Steak

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 … Continue reading Recipe Reclamation: Bringing Back Chopped Steak

The Virtues of Routine and Braised Cabbage

I like repetition. It guides me from one task to another. Like how in the morning I'll make my wife's coffee exactly the same way and take it to her while she is getting ready for work before making my own. Then I'll pack the kids' school lunches, followed by preparing breakfast, and every Tuesday, … Continue reading The Virtues of Routine and Braised Cabbage

Grilling: Tips, Skirt Steak and more…

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 … Continue reading Grilling: Tips, Skirt Steak and more…