Thanksgiving Stuffing Open Thread

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.

Salmon Doesn’t Have To Be Boring

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”

Sometimes Fresh Is Best

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”

…And Sometimes It Isn’t

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.

Sometimes Cooking Is Complicated…

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…”

Why Is The Good Stuff So Expensive?

My grandfather used to go to the local butcher and ask for that long chunk of meat from the back of the cow that nobody seemed too interested in. I am sure that the butcher thought that my grandfather was a bit soft in the head, and probably gave him a good price on what we now call Filet Mignon. But that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. Now, of course, the best cuts of beef are outrageously expensive, and the not-so-great cuts aren’t far behind. And that brings us Continue reading “Why Is The Good Stuff So Expensive?”

A Tale Of Two Restaurants

The iamnotachef juggernaut hopped nimbly out of its restaurant rut and into a fun little place in the Flatiron District of Manhattan called Punch. True to its name, it has some interesting posters from the old, and now defunct, British humor magazine. And although the food isn’t “funny,” it is certainly fun, which is more than I can say for Blue Smoke, Danny Meyer’s very successful barbecue and jazz joint a few blocks north and east. By every objective measure, I should have been happier with Blue Smoke. The service was, as is the case in all of Meyer’s restaurants, impeccable. The hostess was efficient, the bartenders were professional, everything was appropriate to the theme of the restaurant, and Continue reading “A Tale Of Two Restaurants”