I am at the Chefs Collaborative in Charleston, about which I will write more. So in light of the new book Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, I’m reposting what has become one of the most clicked-on posts on this site. That it is a mac and cheese variation speaks to the fact of how beloved it is. Needless to say, raise the quality of your cheese and you make this dish stellar. I needed a dinner that was easy and delicious, would please everyone, one that also reheated well in case my daughter’s track meet ran late, and I had to be able to make it long before serving so it would be just a matter of reheating come dinnertime. There are of course a thousand options that fit these criteria, but last week, Read On »

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It’s Memorial Day and more families than not have someone to honor. Thankfully I have to go back to Dad’s brother, Uncle Bob, who was killed at age 17 as part of a skiing rifle brigade on an Italian mountainside. My dad was only 6 then, but when he was 60 he found the grave of the brother he’d scarcely known. He took a picture, and after I watched Saving Private Ryan, he showed me the photo and I wept. It was exactly like those crosses that open and close the film. Bob was a talented artist and draftsman I’d never know. I long for a world that doesn’t even need a Memorial Day. Until that time, more cooking and grilling together—that makes things better. Would that I could hover around the grill today with Read On »

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Russ Parsons talks about Texas BBQ where they take their brisket seriously, via LA Times.

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I followed a recipe for the first time in ages to make something I’d never cooked before. Whilst down in Key West, I decided to cook a local or near-local preparation. I once said to my friend Nathan Sheffield, Esq., “There’s no such thing as good Cuban food.” He was justifiably riled and sent me the below recipe for picadillo, a Latin American stew of chopped meat. Nathan is of Cuban heritage and thus his picadillo has lots of cumin and umami-giving olives and capers. Nathan insists that it be eaten with yellow rice, rice flavored with annatto oil. Annatto seeds are simmered in oil to make a red-orange oil that has a flavor like no other—difficult to describe but in the cinnamon range with bitterness rather than sweetness. It’s the defining seasoning here. To make a Read On »

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No one is happier than I finally to have some routine again, tree taken down, kids in school, and a plunge back into work with all kinds of exciting projects on the horizon. But I can’t stop thinking about these Yorkshire puddings. I’m always surprised by popovers, how simple they are, and how dramatic they can be. The first time I made Yorkshire pudding for Christmas dinner, it was at Dad’s house and I simply poured the batter into the baking dish the roast beast had cooked in. I marveled at its lava-lamp convolutions as it cooked. I love the simplicity of the basic popover, which is all this is (here with some savory mustard). This post and photo long ago inspired readers as far away as India to make breakfast popovers: flour, egg and Read On »

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