Ingredients and technique are the two things — really, the only things — that matter in cooking. Some will argue that without a good recipe, the highest quality ingredients and impeccable kitchen skills will be all for naught. And they would be correct, but Continue reading “A Moronically Simple Chicken Dish”
I like gadgets as much as the next guy, but the vast majority of my cooking-tool use revolves around a couple of wooden spoons and my trusty tongs. The spoons are great because they don’t scratch anything, and their edges conform to the corners of most pots and pans. And don’t minimize their Continue reading “Silicone Spatulas And Chimpanzees”
There are many, many recipes for this regional dish, but the common ingredients are potatoes, duck fat, garlic and parsley. And really, what could be better? Supposedly every single one of the 60 plus restaurants in Sarlat, this dish’s namesake, serve Continue reading “That Pesky Duck Fat Again! Potatoes Sarladaise”
I use my barbecue dry rub on pretty much everything, although until recently I had never tried it on seafood. But that changed when my lovely and previously cooking-challenged wife suggested that I try it on shrimp. What the hell — how bad could it be? Needless to say it was a resounding success, and it has entered my repertoire for those nights when all of a sudden it’s far too late to make anything other than what is three steps from edible. Step 1: defrost shrimp (always have some good frozen shrimp in the freezer*). Step 2: sprinkle rub on shrimp and allow to soak in for a few minutes, or hours. Step 3: sauté in a medium pan with butter.
Last time I made this dish I served the shrimp with some cannellini beans that I had cooked with some olive oil and garlic. The creaminess of the beans was a wonderful foil for the slightly spicy shrimp. I guess if you are really compulsive and are dying for your own cooking show, you could serve this as an appetizer. Toast some slices of baguette, mound a bit of the beans on top, then plop a shrimp on each piece and garnish with some chopped parsley. Or you could do what I do and shovel all of it out of the bowls and into my mouth as fast as I can.
*Thank you, Tommy, for the excellent point that you made a long time ago. Actually, thank you Tommy’s mother-in-law, but I am confident that she doesn’t read my blog. I hope she reads Tommy’s!
I have received a request for a stuffing thread, because one of my commenters seems to think that his stuffing is the best in the world. Considering that, by his own admission, his pork dry rub ruined some perfectly good salmon steaks, I have a difficult time believing that he has any kitchen skills other than the ability to make a big mess. But I might be wrong!
If something brilliant and wonderful appears on this thread, I will of course steal the recipe and call it my own.
I have ranted in the past about my feelings for salmon. Oh, when I pull a 15-pounder out of the Pacific off of Mendocino, drive home, have it filleted by a fishmonger friend, and then grill it for dinner? It’s great. But it gets boring after a while. So I decided to cast caution to the wind, work without a net, go out on a limb and, mostly, wing it. I skinned a salmon fillet and sprinkled some of my justifiably famous barbecue dry-rub on it. Not as much as on pork ribs, but enough to Continue reading “Salmon Doesn’t Have To Be Boring”
No, I don’t mean choosing fresh steak over the road-kill you pass on the way to the coffee shop (most of the road-kill around here is squirrel, and while I have been told that squirrel isn’t bad, I am in no rush to find out). I mean freshly prepared dishes, as opposed to food that has been prepared in advance. My lovely wife and I like Tuna Tartare in all of its many incarnations, so we are always willing to try a new and Continue reading “Sometimes Fresh Is Best”
Mark Bittman published a great recipe in his blog, and his timing couldn’t have been worse. I just finished criticizing him, and he retaliates with an excellent chicken dish that is also simple to prepare. Take a stab at it, but don’t use scallions — shallots are perfect. And I used a few tablespoons of butter with the oil, because there can never be enough butter. One more thing: I cut the chicken into ten pieces, but next time I’ll leave the breasts whole. Cutting them into pieces made them too small and they dried out a bit. But that’s my fault, not Bittman’s.
Mark Bittman is a justifiably widely read cook, with a New York Times column called “The Minimalist” and a fun blog called Bitten on the New York Times web site. As you probably have figured out, he often distills recipes to their essence, in the process paring the steps and ingredients down to a bare minimum. And sometimes, it works very, very well. He has a recipe for crab cakes that is probably the best Continue reading “Sometimes Cooking Is Complicated…”
We had a very nice dinner last weekend that included only one loud couple. Unfortunately, the alpha female of the pair demanded a particular dish. Luckily, it was a dish I can do justice to, so all was not lost. Braised lamb shanks is simply a variation of any braised meat recipe: Continue reading “And Sometimes The Good Things Aren’t Expensive”