When I imagined this meal, it was rather a lot like the poulet fermier aux morilles I had back in Paris on the night I got plowed tasting Burgundies at the huge agricultural fair. While that meal was a perfect drunk-thirty chilly March comfort food home run, this iteration ended up being a pretty perfect conclusion to a rainy yet balmy May Saturday.
Keep reading The Pleasure Principle…
By the end of the last post, I had figured out that one of the prominent flavor notes in lovage is quite similar to fenugreek. If you cut some, or, better, tear it, your hands will become insistently perfumed with the persistent aroma of the plant. When people dismiss it with variations of the “it’s like celery” line, that’s a cop-out on par with the “tastes like chicken” descriptor so loosely applied to things as different as mushrooms and alligator. Lovage doesn’t taste like celery, though it approximates it visually, up to a point. It’s much closer to fenugreek, with a whiff of caraway and a citrusy tang.
Keep reading A Zoo In My Lovage…
Though this is another paean to leftovers, hear me out. Everything about this meal was spot on; the various components had been transformed beyond recognition from their original preparations, and to excellent effect.
Keep reading My Satisfaction I Exhibit Thus…
I do enjoy a vacation from blogging sometimes. There has been no shortage of cooking, both here and in Vermont, but not so much documentation. Among other memorable events, I taught a bread class, cooked for 75 or so people at a charity benefit, and fed my family daily as is my wont, but just wasn’t feeling the writing about it part. With an average of a post every other day for six and a half years, I don’t feel bad about taking a break. So now, as regular content resumes—subject to an impending deadline and how well I stave off the cold that Milo caught right before his birthday, torpedoing a weekend’s worth of fun—I’ll begin lazily simply with a few shots of How I Spent My Summer Vacation. Keep reading I’ve Seen Fire And I’ve Seen Sauce…
I smoked a couple of chickens yesterday, and as I was prepping them (pulling the necks and organs out, salting them) Milo walked over and pointed to the offal.
“Ew. What’s all that?”
“Is it edible?”
“Of course,” I said. “You love chicken liver pâté and we had beef heart tacos a while ago.”
“Oh yeah. Can I eat these hearts?”
“Of course you can.”
Keep reading Tastes Like Chicken…
Yesterday I was out all day for a story—90 minutes each way in the car, three hours of chatting, 375 pictures taken, stop at farmers’ market on the way home—so dinner was not in any danger of being a complicated endeavor. Circumstances conspired to make it another one in the seemingly infinite series of “chicken parts cooked in a vaguely winglike manner” meals that I’m sure you’re all thrilled to read about on a regular basis. But bear with me; this technique works a treat and is dead easy with any bird parts you might have laying around.
Keep reading One Thighs Fits All…
Just a quick one today, since I’m on deadline. This was an utterly unremarkable dinner the other night: fried chicken and cucumber salad. The chicken didn’t even get a buttermilk marinade, because there was neither time nor buttermilk; it just got tossed in seasoned flour (salt, pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder) and fried in a mixture of canola and peanut oils. It was perfectly fine. What made this meal something that you really want to put your face in was the sauce, which I threw together based on what was in the fridge.
I used roughly equal parts of the mango salsa, barbecue sauce from the lamb ribs, and kimchi. And those three links right there show exactly why it ended up being so transcendently good: rather than bottles of various store-bought condiments, they were all homemade. That richness and depth of flavor (and uniqueness, since apart from the kimchi they were one-offs) is the key to making ordinary food into a celebration of sustenance. Anything you can do to equip yourself with homemade tomato purée, chutneys, salsas, and pickles will reward you with interest when you need to phone in something on . . . → Read More: Dump And Stir
Yesterday Mary came for a visit (and there’s some good news brewing on that front) so I roused myself from a humid torpor and wrangled a few things in the kitchen so we would have substantial yet heat-appropriate fare to buttress ourselves against all the wine she carries around with her everywhere. It was not a day for much cooking, so the sous vide rig seemed like a good choice; it gives off little heat and can be ignored for hours on end. It’s a brilliant way to prepare food on sweltering days. Plus, it’s been ages since I did a charcuterie post, so here you go.
Keep reading Hot And Cold…
The garden inspires. Besides its inherent goodness–the exercise of maintaining it, the healthfulness and flavor of what comes out of it, the incredible multi-level teaching tool it offers for parents–at the end of the day (often quite literally) it’s just the act of working in it and seeing what’s coming in, what’s peaking, and what’s going out that gives me the most ideas for immediate meals and more ambitious longer-term projects. One of the great beauties of growing food is that even things well before or past their prime can be used to great effect to flavor, garnish, or otherwise complete a meal. This dinner represented a good example of me just listening to the garden and letting the fridge and pantry do the rest.
Keep reading Listen To What The Flower People Say…
It’s been alternately sunny and rainy lately, with a few straight days of each before it changes again. Spring has been pretty perfect so far, though I’m behind on the garden, but that’s pretty much a given. On nice days, we eat lighter food outside on the porch, and on cooler rainy days I try to make heartier things and we eat them inside. At least in theory; this meal was on the substantial side but the day was as nice as they come. Go figure. In any case, it highlights a technique that I don’t see talked about so much, but which makes for a superlative chicken in very little time.
Keep reading I’ve Got A Spatchcock In My Pocket…