What has surprised me most about all my breads using non-wheat grains is how richly flavored they are.  Far more than anything you can find at the grocery store.  And they all feel so satisfying to eat, the intriguing flavors and the solid bite they give. Here is a classic, deli-style rye that would be perfect for some homemade corned beef or pastrami.  But you don’t need much to enjoy this bread.  One of my favorite ways to eat is to toast a slice, then rub it with a halved clove of garlic, then butter it.  So good. The following recipe can be shaped into a loaf, into a boule or even a baguette (if you wanted small slices for canapes or small sandwiches for instance).  The caraway seeds can be omitted if you wish, Read On »

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I was thrilled by Kim Severson’s piece on the gluten-free trend because it points a light, yet again, on … but god, aren’t there enough klieg lights on American’s stupidity, gullibility, and laziness already? And yet even Severson herself quotes a chef, thereby giving the piece its own kind of reporter’s credibility, saying that the gluten-free fad is here to stay. This, despite noting that only 1% of the population is actually badly affected by gluten, and that there is scant evidence that there’s anything wrong with this wonderful protein combination. A grocer I know said he didn’t know if it was a good or a bad thing, the gluten-free fad, but he was loving the hell out of it. If Americans’ lack of self-awareness, or even awareness generally, weren’t already on painful display almost everywhere, Read On »

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  Carri Thurman, baker and chef at Two Sisters Bakery in Homer, Alaska, on a young and growing cooks’ community. Her guest post speaks for itself (great links, too). —M.R. by Carri Thurman This summer I went completely and utterly MAD, and it couldn’t have been more rewarding or delicious. Mad is the Danish word for food. It is also the name of what has become one of the most exciting food conferences happening in the world today. This year’s talks were curated by David Chang and the folks at Lucky Peach magazine with the guidance of MAD founder, the head chef of Noma, Rene Redzepi. It is not so much a technical conference but a gathering of ideas and a convergence of philosophies with presentations that began with impassioned Italian butcher Dario Cecchini gutting a pig and quoting Dante and ended with Alex Atala showing us all that Read On »

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  Still recovering from 10 days of Key West fine food and postprandial debauchery, I’m giving my site over today to my friend Stephanie Stiavetti (@sstiavetti), who writes The Culinary Life blog, and whose first book, Melt, will be published next year by Little, Brown (a fine book to which I happily contributed the introduction). I’ll be back on Friday with a Key West–inspired cocktail to combat the winter grays. Take it away, Steph, and thanks for keeping it simple and discussing a critical cooking technique!—M.R. by Stephanie Stiavetti Bread pudding needn’t be complicated. At its core, custard is a straightforward dish consisting of cream and egg yolks. For a sweet custard you add sugar, alongside tiny, fragrant vanilla beans (usually), and that’s about as fussy as it gets. The best bread puddings are marked Read On »

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Fat on bread. Talk about felicitous but little-thought-about pairings. While writing Schmaltz, I of course tasted schmaltz on rye, with a little kosher salt, and it’s so good. Now this really is better than butter. (Donna would want to underscore yet again the power of backlighting. This was shot in late afternoon sunlight.) Back to cold Cleveland tomorrow. Now need to make lobster stock from yesterday’s crustacean extravaganza. Twenty-five lobsters à la minute is no easy task, so thanks to all the sailors who lent a hand, especially Russ, whom I sprayed repeatedly with lobster juice as we cracked fifty claws. His favorite shirt no less. Other links you may like: My post on how to make a classic rye bread. A guest post on how to make bagels from scratch. Lobster facts! Learn more Read On »

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