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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Coq-au-vin-11-finished-2

    It was the simplest of observations. I’d never heard it made, but it crystalized for me yet another facet of America’s dysfunctional relationship to food. I was listening to a podcast of “This American Life,” maybe the greatest show on radio, one from the archives called “Americans In Paris,” and featuring still another American treasure, David Sedaris. One of the Americans interviewed by the show’s host, Ira Glass, noted the joy with which the French eat and said, “Americans treat their food like medicine.” Exactly! We eat what’s “good” for us. We avoid what’s “bad” for us without really knowing what is good or bad for us. We eat probiotic food, such as yogurt with active cultures because it may be good for our gut flora. We avoid gluten because that’s what’s trending now. Read On »

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I’m starting to get Thanksgiving meal questions in my email, so I guess it’s time to review for our great shared secular holiday, Thanksgiving, our only holiday anchored by food. Time to start planning! I’ll have other posts later in the week, dressing, and stock-making for this weekend (have to have plenty of stock for dressing and gravy). Today, it’s the big one. How to handle the big bird. I find it amusing how every year the major food media come up with some new way to do the same old thing. Last year The New York Times told you to steam your turkey! Not that there’s anything wrong with the story or the technique (by the Jacques Pépin, after all). My view is why mess with what works? For important occasions, the rule is: Read On »

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One pot meals are great for this cold winter they are easy to make and taste delicious, via NYT.

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