I was so delighted by the Kate Christensen recipe I’m making a version of it here that reflects my way of cooking. Is it a repeat? That’s part of the point—the best dishes in your repertoire are ones you do over and over. Indeed, Christensen wrote about it in a novel, and then wrote about it again in a memoir, and has made it for real herself, so it obviously bears repeating. As do all good recipes. And this one is not only supremely tasty and therefore a pleasure to eat, it’s also deeply nourishing, especially if you use your own stock. I was also intrigued by a few commenters who did not like the narrative recipe, a recipe without ingredient list and numbered steps, but with writerly flourishes—”fragrant brown spice puddle”—which of course I Read On »

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When I was working on the Ad Hoc at Home cookbook with Thomas Keller and Dave Cruz, they showed me this excellent method of chopping chives. Wrap a bundle of chives in a damp folded towel and then cut. It solves two problems: you don’t crush them as you can when they rest flat on the board; and you don’t wind up with long strings of half-cut chive where they knife didn’t go all the way through. You end up with PERFECT chives. It’s also cleaner generally. I love this technique. If you liked this post, read: My past post on drying herbs from your garden. Spillover from the bacon photo: bake some cheddar, bacon, and chive biscuits. Anna Hewitt discusses making container herb gardens for those who lack space or are city dwellers. Making candied herbs shared Read On »

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I am normally straight at you like a knife, cocktailwise. A martini is gin with vermouth you can taste, and a twist. Period. Either there is no other martini or the name doesn’t mean anything. (I refuse to back down on this one, sorry. I like vodka, I own vodka, I drink vodka, but vodka and vermouth is a stupid drink with an appropriately stupid name.) I want plenty of bitters in my Manhattan. After the martini, there’s no better drink than an old-fashioned. So you’d think I’d pooh-pooh infusing decent spirits with shit from my herb garden. And I did. Until a new pal made Donna a gimlet with basil-infused gin. And he made a delicious summer cocktail with cantaloupe and basil-infused tequila. Basil is in full growth now, and it takes only a Read On »

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A confession: I’m not a great cooker of fish. In fact, Donna hates it when I cook fish, because I usually want to put some kind of fancy sauce on it. She wants it sautéed with plain lemon, a little butter maybe. (Yawn.) But she’s usually right—I don’t cook it often enough to get good at it. But another part of the reason I’m fish challenged is that I grew up in Cleveland in the 1970s where fish came into the grocery store on Monday (trucked in, no doubt) and sat around through Saturday, which was the only time in Cleveland you could get a good sense of what low tide smells like. The only fish I ate, and ate grudgingly, was breaded, fried, frozen, and reheated in a toaster oven, and I was able Read On »

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Probably Emilia’s most favorite breakfast dish around, made of tortillas, salsa, onions, and cheese, via WSJ.  

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