This Sunday brings us the *hmphrl Academy Awards (it's eighty-something, right?), and again, they'll be a bunch of self-congratulation, and the best movie won't actually win Best Picture.
Which is tedious enough to make you want to drink...a film-inspired cocktail, that is.
So, my girl got me the best Christmas gift of all time this year: a PID temperature controller, vacuum sealer, and a copy of Thomas Keller's Under Pressure. Which meeeaans.... I can now cook sous vide!
Sous vide [French for "under vacuum"] involves cooking food in airtight bags in temperature controlled water for long periods of time...essentially slow-poaching everything at an exact temperature. Since the food never rises over the desired doneness, it can never get overcooked! Neat, huh?
Of course, I played around in the week between Christmas and New Year's, but since it involves so much gear, I put it away with the decorations. But in the last few weeks, with all the crazy snow and ice, I've been staying inside, and really learning how to do it well.
Hi friends - Next time your at the bookstore or newsstand, pick up the latest issue of ReadyMade (51, looks like this), and turn to page 44 to see an article by, well, me!
In it, I confess my love for big heavy kitchen tools made of rock and why they're
Do you know the difference between a chinoise and spider? Do you know when to use a mezzaluna or a melon baller? Can you name at least 50% of the tools in your own kitchen drawers at this very minute? Do you want to use the word "splendiferous" as often as possible?
A few weeks ago, we spied this awesome list of fun stuff to do with your microwave. This morning, we're back with an equally cool list of my all-time favorite plug-in kitchen appliance, the toaster oven.
I never had a real doughnut until I was eight or so.
Well, I guess by real, I mean "fresh, and from a bakery." See, my earliest doughnut memories involve 1) either those awful powdered sugary things that come in the re-sealable bag, or 2) those things my parents would cook in the crock pot..which actually had to be some sort of deeper fryer, but it lived in the lazy susan, and I wasn't allowed to touch it, so it was all the same to me.
Over the weekend, my local alternative weekly newspaper did a taste test of a new Doritos flavor: Late Night All Nighter Cheeseburger. The consensus was: 1) yes, it is possible to make a chip taste like a cheeseburger; and 2) doing so is a terrible idea.
But, I do love the idea of whipping up an entire meal in an integrated, handy to-go package. And I especially love it when gravy is involved.
The Urban Grocer reports, "Sculpted, tweaked, and photographed. Nope, we’re not talking about the latest super model; we’re talking about meat. Raw cuts of red meat that Philadelphia-based artist Dominic Episcopo took as his muse for his latest inspired project, Meat America.
Channeling the inner butcher within us all, Meat America includes an impressive collection of photographed meats fashioned to look like everything from Elvis and Ben Franklin, to New Jersey and Texas. Through this work, Episcopo intended to celebrate his own unabashed love for meat and “the American appetite for decadent and iconoclastic deliciousness.”
It's really cold today. There's snow in 49 states, and I'm doing everything I can not to turn on the thermostat before the program kicks it on at 3:30. And I need something warm to make it through. Not coffee. Not tea.
I need hot cocoa.
But I can't stand instant cocoa mix. Even the fancy ones are way too water-y. I need to be prepared for days like this.
I need to make my own.
Every state in the U.S. is covered in snow, except for poor Florida. Many are saying, "Snow? of course, it's January," while others totally freak out, cancel schools, close down roads, and populations go into hibernation.
But for my money, it gives me an excuse to start cooking. I love to spend winter nights trying new things; complex dishes that come out of the lack of amazing produce you wouldn't want to otherwise mask.
And though it means lots of door openning and closing, and tracking in a bit of extra snow, I love to grill in the winter. Standing outside in blankets of white, warming myself by my roasty dinner, with the smellls mingling just so...
I looooove eating fresh pasta. It takes on the sauce or condiment in a totally different way, it cooks in a minute or two, and turns a basic meal into something plenty special.
But, I don't love, or even like, making fresh pasta at home. The traditional "well method" makes a huge mess, and dealing with the mile long pieces of pasta is really tough for a single person.
So, I'm totally in love with this super easy, totally-worth-your-time method:
One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was Rick Bayless's new book, Fiesta at Rick's. And the very first recipe inside? Bacon and Tomato Guacamole.
Though you made not have thought of it, it certainly makes sense. The BLT is a classic, and salty bacon and creamy avocado are some of the staples of California cuisine.
So, last night, I tried it. And it's definitely better than I thought it would be. It doesn't just taste like regular guac with some crumbled bacon. The addition of the bacon makes the tomatoes, even crummy December tomatoes, stand out, and the use of canned chipotles is a welcome switch from fresh green chiles.
Perhaps you'll be unwrapping a new iPad or iPod touch on Christmas morning. Maybe your gift to yourself was cutting the ties with your old carrier and nabbed a shiny new iPhone. Or, maybe your like me and just really like food.
Whatever the scenario, the App store is full of cool stuff to make your cooking more successful.
They say you can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.
True, but you can get pretty close.
The Evil Mad Scientists have figured out a way to create an omelette inside the egg's shell with just a single tiny hole, or, as they say, "a culinary equivalent of the ship in a bottle."
Fancy menus, special dishes, and super turkey techniques aside, the thing I'm always most grateful for is mashed potatoes, and plenty of gravy. Put whatever you want in the stuffing or cranberries, but leave my mash the way God intended it, fluffy and creamy, with a huge crater for plenty of gravy, freshly made from pan-drippings.
I've never actually drunk gravy from a glass, as suggested in the photo, but I'm pretty sure I'm not opposed to it.
It took me a couple of days, but I finally figured out what I'll be making for Thanksgiving.
For the first time, I'm veering away from trying to do the traditional items as best as possible. I grew up eating frozen Butterball, Stove Top stuffing, and perservative-laden green bean casserole Thanksgivings, so I spent my first two years on my own seeking to do the sage/celery heavy Thanksgiving as best as I could.
But this year, I'm ready for something else, and so I'm gonna embrace my beloved Mexican and Latin flavors and infuse them into the Thanksgiving classics.
Here's what I'm thinking:
Appetizers: Southwest Cheeseball and
Thanksgiving is now less than two weeks away, and while those of us behind ManMade are excitedly gathering recipes and decor ideas, we thought we'd use this format to offer another sort of round-up: some fantastic Thanksgiving cocktails. Whether you need them to deal with your family, want to find something to complement your favorite side dishes, or just want to live in a day-long toast to gratitude, there's no reason that wine should be the only beverage served alongside your spread this year.
So, we present a series of festive, fall cocktails that'll help make your meal a success, whether you overcook the turkey or not.
Growing up in a Roman Catholic household with eleven brothers and sisters, Stephen Colbert learned a thing or two about creating delicious, wholesome meals on a budget.
Last night, he showed Martha Stewart everything he knows.
From yellow mustard on saltines, to Wonderbread with mayo and Kool-Aid, this is funny regardless of your politics, or your opinions on Martha Stewart.
Sometimes, it's that one little bit of extra effort or inspiration that turns an ordinary project into something unbelievably awesome. In this case, two thoughtful additions - natural sticks and a bit of black food coloring, turn the fall classic-y candy apples into something straight terrifying.
I've been to Di Fara's pizza in Brooklyn once. It was very, very tasty, and I waited more than an hour for it.
Many have dubbed it the best pizza in New York City, and perhaps in North America. Filmmaker Margaret Emily MacKenzie created this fascinating short film about Di Fara and its owner/chef, Dom DeMarco. "Hailed as the 'godfather of Brooklyn pizza,' for forty-five years Domenico DeMarco, Italian émigré and father of seven, has been slinging pizzas in his legendary corner shop, Di Fara. Employing five of his children, Dom works tirelessly from morning until night hand crafting each and every pizza himself while his kids take orders and manage the mob of devoted pizza aficionados. The Best This I Ever Done is a portrait of DeMarco and his beloved pizzeria, an exploration of his rise to fame and an ode to pizzaioli who take their time to 'make it right.'"