Archives for 2013

Soup for Happiness and Dinner

My good friend Deborah Madison was in town to talk about her magnificent new book Vegetable Literacy and we got a chance to catch up and talk about the food state-of-affairs.  For Deborah, she was sick of hearing about farm-to-table and for me I roll my eyes when I hear mass hysteria in the form […]

What is Scrapple?

Scrapple is one of those regional American favorites that remain a mystery to outsiders. You’ll find it  in the mid-Atlantic states. Scrapple is a hog-parts mush formed into solid blocks, or logs, sliced, floured lightly and fried in fat. I first had it in Maryland in the early 1970s and have been wild about it […]

Tracking What’s Trending in the Kingdom of Kale

How kale went from a cellar-dwelling vegetable to a pennant-winning one is an interesting story full of ups and downs throughout history. When I started cooking decades ago, kale was arguably the least popular vegetable on the American table, beloved only in soul food cookery, which is an expression I haven’t seen in years. Today, […]

Wok Cookery is Just Plain Easy

Wok cookery is so inviting partly because it’s so easy.  Typically it’s Asian food that you’ll cook and what I love in particular is how it’s all cooked quickly in one vessel and clean-up is easy.  So when I wrote my latest book ONE-POT WONDERS the wok got heavy use.  For the ultimate fun guide […]

Duck for All Seasons

I am hopelessly crazy about duck.  If a duck appears on a restaurant menu I always order it.  I don’t care how they cook it. I like duck old-fashioned à l’orange or as modern as all get out.  I cook duck at home less frequently partly because duck is always sold frozen and whole and […]

Food Superlatives: The Old and the New

Call me an irascible old codger but I feel that there are too many superlatives flying around especially when it comes to food talk.  It appears that any blogger I read is overly enthusiastic about that new food truck, the new restaurant, the new chef, the new cookbook, that new vegetable, or that new trend.  […]

Ceviche For All Occasions

A problem that arises for all cooks–not often, admittedly–is when you’ve caught or bought some fresh fish and you want to serve it as fresh as possible, that is, that very day, and then plans change suddenly and you are unable to cook it.  You’re loath to just keep it refrigerated until you can cook […]

Himalayan Heat with Chilies from Bhutan

Farmers markets are bursting with all kinds of peppers and chilies, and on the grill these spicy or sweet fleshy fruits are a delight for a barbecue party. You can keep it simple of course, but fooling around with tastes and techniques is fun and rewarding. In my book “Some Like it Hot,” there is […]

Don’t Let A Long List Of Ingredients Doom A Recipe

I have noticed that some people don’t like a recipe with a long list of ingredients. I’m utterly baffled by this. I can understand they might not like a multi-step recipe with lots of cross-references, but a long list of ingredients? Is it that hard to put one thing in after another? I’d like to […]

Put Away the Recipe and Try Spain’s Grand (and Historic) Cuisine

As cooks, we are naturally drawn to recipes. Recipes are instructions to be followed to create a dish. However, to be a better cook, to gain insight into a culinary culture, which is, after all, whence all cooking springs, I believe it is helpful to put aside our recipes occasionally. Recipes are like fireflies that […]

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