Shumai-finished

Chrissy Camba (@chrissycamba) is the Owner/Chef of Maddy’s Dumpling House in Chicago. Shortly after graduating from Loyola University with a degree in biology, Chrissy fell in love with cooking. In a very “Sliding Doors” twist, she was asked to stage in a kitchen and later offered her first kitchen job. After many accolades, a Top Chef competition, and the passing of her bunny, Maddy, Chrissy started Maddy’s Dumpling House. Currently, Maddy’s Dumpling House “pops up” once a month around Chicago until Chrissy can find a permanent brick and mortar space to call home.  By Chrissy Camba Dumplings have been a part of my life since I can remember. I would find them floating in soups, looking like wrinkled brains, deep-fried in tight rolls filled with ground meat, steamed/fried/pan-fried racing around me on little metal carts that periodically stopped by Read On »

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Wheat-X2-for-blog

  I want to call attention to an op-ed by Mark Bittman in the New York Times last week, headlined “What Is the Purpose of Society?” because it’s particularly incisive. He rightly asks us to reconsider how we think about the production and distribution of our food. He calls on us to ask the right questions: What is the purpose of agriculture? And he asks that we come to a common agreement on what that purpose is. He writes: “… [I]s contemporary American agriculture a system for nourishing people and providing a livelihood for farmers? Or is it one for denuding the nation’s topsoil while poisoning land, water, workers and consumers and enriching corporations? Our collective actions would indicate that our principles favor the latter; that has to change. “…[i]f we had a national agreement that Read On »

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Lamb-Shank18

    First, the following five people (and their favorite braise) will receive a signed copy of my new book How to Braise. Congrats! —Steve W.: Braised oxtail and pumpkin with chickpeas over couscous! —Cindy M: Braised pork shanks…. yum! —JAvera: Oven-Braised Corned Beef. Yum. Sliced thin and served on Kings Hawaiian Bread. (I know, I know. Just try it sometime!) —Fran: I’ll pretty much take anything braised, but currently I’m loving chicken braised with carrots, leeks and sherry. —Tom Abella: My favorite braise is Cheating Pulled Pork Shoulder, which is what I call it when I combine an hour of heavy smoking over a grill at night with putting the shoulder in a covered Dutch oven at 225 overnight. What emerges in the morning is a glorious fall-apart piece of meat complete with drippings Read On »

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Braise-Cover-@72-for-blog

    My book Ruhlman’s How to Braise: Foolproof Techniques and Recipes for the Home Cook is published today, February 10. To celebrate its arrival I am giving away five signed copies. How to Braise is the second in a series of technique-based books (the first was How to Roast). Like its predecessor, this book is short on recipes (25 or so, including the Orange-Braised Duck Leg, pictured below) and long on nuance. It includes finished shots by my wife, Donna, of every dish and many process shots of how dishes, such as a Lamb Tagine, come together, how the Braised Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps should look, or just a beautiful image of braised fennel and baby radishes. When you know technique, you need to rely less on recipes. When you know technique, cooking is easier and more efficient and more fun. (What exactly Read On »

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The Boulevardier with the twist

  Just home from a quick trip to Chicago (have started the reporting for a new book!) and have piles of notes to transcribe. Will be having the above if I can get even halfway through by 6 pm tonight. Happy Friday, all! Originally posted in February, 2013: Were it not for the Internet, my guess is that only the most devoted barfly would know about the Boulevardier. It’s not in any of my cocktail books, not the standard-bearing The Standard Bartender’s Guide, my Madmen-era dad’s paperback. I only heard about it from a reader of this blog (with links below). And an email this week pushed me into a tasting, happily! I love how various flavoring components (bitters, vermouths) become different cocktails when you change the spirit. How the Manhattan becomes a Rob Roy when you Read On »

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