Confit Don’t Fail Me Now

This bowl is the third in the new set; it’s an almost disaster that I salvaged into a candy dish sort of thing with a flat bottom. My limited skill on the wheel is greatly enhanced by my post-wheel surgical chops and willingness both to coax things back from the brink and celebrate their lopsided uniqueness. I suspect that after I throw a hundred more I will be a lot less precious about the process. In any case, this duck confit made a worthy passenger for the bowl’s maiden voyage.

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Fifty Shades Of Whey

When your kid loves yogurt, making it at home makes a lot of sense. When your kid loves Greek yogurt, straining it makes for a more or less inexhaustible supply of tangy whey; the yield is roughly 50/50 so our weekly gallon of yogurt makes a half of each. There’s always some stock around too, either in fridge or freezer, so between that and the whey I never want for rich liquids with or in which to cook dinner.

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Cucurbit The Frog

This soup described an interesting trajectory over the course of a week, culminating in a pretty spectacular finale the other night.

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Castles Made Of Couscous Melt Into The Cheese, Eventually

I made some pretty good chicken pho last night. Muggy heat notwithstanding, the Kid wanted chicken noodle soup because he wasn’t feeling well. So I dutifully trudged off to the weekly market, procured a bunch of chicken wings, and trudged home. Wings make good stock. Normally, I make, you know, wings with them, saving the tips, and then cook the cooked second and third segments with the raw tips to make a wonderfully flavored but still gelatinous stock later on. This time there was no time, so in the pot they went, whole and unjointed, with all the pho-requisite flavors.

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Le Sacre Du Printemps

This meal was made, upon late return home, entirely with things that were already in the fridge and needed using up. It was not in any way sexy or elegant, but it had profound utilitarian appeal: it made for very good, nutritious eating and cleared some space in the fridge. Those containers of various remnants can be pretty sexy if you look at them with the right mindset. If it’s not working for you, drink seven beers and try again.

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Baller, Shot Caller

As promised, here are the arancini made from the quinoa salad/pilaf thing. They handsomely balanced two opposite poles of culinary compulsion: one the one hand, they’re quinoa, and on the other, they’re deep fried. Yin and yang, righteous and decadent, trendy and timeless. I contain multitudes, dude.

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A Leg Up

Among the many pleasures of spring are the season-straddling meals, which retain some of winter’s rich comfort quality while opening up to the verdant splendor of new growth. And morels. Lots of morels. Throw in a duck leg, some transformed leftovers, and kumquat/absinthe marmalade, and you’ve got yourself an exemplary dinner.

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Rice With Chicken Soup

There is no more useful thing to have on hand at all times than good homemade stock. Witness this meal, a hurried response to lingering sickness and general wintry malaise that no cardigan can allay. I have written a lot about risotto, because I make it pretty often, though not because I love it particularly more than other things. I make it often because it is so easy; all it requires is rice, stock, and a condimento: an herb, a flavor, a vegetable or three for color, depth, and direction.

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My Satisfaction I Exhibit Thus

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.

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Use It Or Lose It

This is a little hard to see, because everything is roughly the same color, but the flavors were all distinct. It was also mostly leftovers, reinvented to make something entirely new.

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Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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