Tuesday or Wednesday is usually soup day here, as it was last week when Donna’s sister, Regina, was here for Cakes 101, to teach me cake basics and all about the creams and curds that fill a cake and give it flavor. I wanted to be able to show what a proper cake could look like in the book we’re currently working on, and as Regina bakes wedding and special-occasion cakes in the Hudson Valley, we brought her in for a working visit. We spend Thanksgiving with Donna’s family in Germantown, NY, and last year Regina had two big pots of soup on the stove as the family converged on the house, one of which was so beloved by my daughter that I asked Regina to make it while she was here. She asked only Read On »

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Need a fresh salad recipe then check out this lentil and chickpea salad with feta and tahini, via Smitten Kitchen.

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Garlic has changed for me. Now that really good, hard-stemmed varieties are available, I love to use it just briefly cooked. I find that in the traditional uses—in mirepoix for stews and sauces—it is completely lost. That’s right, I almost never use it in tomato-based sauces—the onion does all the heavy lifting. If I want garlic in a sauce or a braise I add it late in the game. My favorite way to cook garlic is briefly and in abundance, so you can taste it. Cooked this way it’s the powerhouse we’ve always thought of it as. I love it just briefly cooked in oil and used with pasta or smeared on toast. Donna and I used it in great abundance with tomatoes and basil—the season is near! Here’s the video that uses the fantastic technique of Read On »

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Today my Friday cocktail will be a daiquiri here in Palm Beach. Or you could instead sit down with a Lagunitas IPA and a few homemade chicken sausages; this recipe originally appears in Charcuterie.   Chicken Sausage with Basil and Tomatoes 3 1⁄2 pounds/1.5 kilograms boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed 1 1⁄2 pounds/675 grams pork back fat, cubed, diced into 1-inch pieces 3 tablespoons/40 grams kosher salt 1 teaspoon/3 grams freshly ground black pepper 1 1⁄2 teaspoons/9 grams minced garlic 4 tablespoons/24 grams tightly packed chopped fresh basil 1⁄2 cup/100 grams fresh diced roma (plum) tomatoes 1⁄4 cup/60 grams diced sun-dried tomatoes 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters red wine vinegar, chilled 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters extra virgin olive oil 1⁄4 cup/60 milliliters dry red wine, chilled 10 feet/3 meters hog casings, soaked in tepid water for at least 30 Read On »

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Ages ago a reader requested a biscuit post and now, in something of a dreary February brain hibernation, I thought would be the perfect time. Donna shot this biscuit while I was writing Ratio and what I love about it is not the ratio itself (3 parts flour : 1 part fat : 2 parts liquid) but rather how the rolling technique results in layered flakiness. It’s kind of a cross between a pie crust and puff pastry. A pie crust is flaky because random knots of butter separate layers of dough and puff when baked. With puff pastry, one sets out to create precise layers of dough and butter, hundreds of them, by successively folding and rolling out a single block of butter encased in dough (called turns) for a uniform puff dough. Here, we Read On »

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