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 for 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 is Read On »

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Peternell-12

I want to call attention to a cookbook after my own heart, a cookbook that seeks to encourage and teach the few fundamental ideas on which all cooking is based. It’s called Twelve Recipes by Chez Panisse chef Cal Peternell, and it came into being out of the love of a father for his sons. Peternell, on returning from a family trip to Europe, wondered why more cooking wasn’t done at home, notably and especially by his fellow chefs. He understands: fatigue, time, the desire to see new restaurants. But he also knew this: “The ancient acts of gathering foods, cooking them, and then coming together to eat are as profound as any that we do, and as pleasurable.… I consider cooking and eating with my family my best skill.” Yet he’d failed to teach his Read On »

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carrot

  It’s been a busy year. I published two books, How To Roast this past fall, the first in a series of technique books, and a big book on the Egg this past spring. I continue to love the dialogue that some of the opinion pieces here inspire; I’m gratified by the enthusiasm with which the Friday Cocktail Hour was greeted (and lamented … perhaps it will return). And people enjoy the recipes when they appear, whether from me or a guest poster. The following are the top-rated posts from 2014, and all of these categories are represented. The Opinion Posts, on our health and the importance of cooking, both reported and rant-only: Don’t Eat Healthy Carb Confusion: An internist at the Cleveland Clinic, who has a deep interest in nutrition, talked to me last summer about Read On »

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cook-books-@1020

I get sent a lot of cookbooks throughout the year, some from publishers looking for blurbs, others just wanting me to know a book has been published. Recently I reviewed some select books out this season for the Wall Street Journal (it will be online for everyone here after a couple weeks). One of those books, which I highly recommend for baking, is Dorie Greenspan’s Baking Chez Moi. But it is not featured above because I am giving it to someone who can actually bake. What is the story about the five books above? As I said, I get a lot of books throughout the year, more than I actually have room for in the downstairs of our house. Cookbook space is now severely rationed. After much difficult thought, the above books are the ones I didn’t Read On »

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