I hate book tours. I hate leaving my house. But years ago when I was interviewing David McCullough for my book Wooden Boats, he noted how he hears that from authors all the time and said in his typical exuberant way, and with that inimitable voice, “I love book tours!” It helps that he is universally adored, of course, and is a fine and generous man fawned over wherever he appears. But I thought of him on my return from Durham and Chapel Hill where Anton Zuiker—communications director for Duke Medical Center 9 to 5, and journalist, blogger, husband, dad, angel and friend at all other hours—masterminded a book tour stop for me, in honor of Ruhlman’s Twenty, in the unlikely area known as the Research Triangle. The diversity of what one does to promote Read On »

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A couple years ago, nosing around in McGee’s On Food and Cooking, I came across his suggestion that one could make neater poached eggs by getting rid of the liquidy, flyaway whites before poaching.  And it works! (There’s really no point in adding acid to the water.) Regrettably, I left my good perforated spoon at a Macy’s demo and was left a generic slotted spoon with a shallow bowl and the egg always wanted to jump out. So when my friend Mac suggested we make some kitchen tools, a great perforated spoon was high on the list.  And here it is, The Badass Perforated (aka Egg) Spoon, now available at OpenSky, a new, still evolving e-commerce site (follow me there for weekly special deals they put together).  It not only easily holds any egg, but Read On »

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So Joe and I got to playing with the video camera early this spring, just to have some fun. (Please excuse awkward editing moment.) Also, it’s a bit on the longish side (6:30) so if you want to cut to the chase, the point of this thing happens between 2:30 and 3:10 minutes. I love deviled eggs, but after making this video I realized that there was no reason you even have to go through the rigmarole of mixing the yolks and mayo and mustard and piping all that into halved whites.  For a last minute deviled egg, just top it with the same ingredients. Last minute Deviled Eggs 6 ounces mayonnaise (see video above for technique) 1 tablespoon minced shallot macerated for 10 minutes in 1 tablespoon lemon juice, then strained 2 teaspoons Dijon Read On »

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[Please note additional thoughts following comments here and on Twitter] Elise emailed a couple weeks ago to ask if I’d posted on Hollandaise.  She’d posted the blender version, first popularized by Craig Claiborne in the 1970s in The New York Times, and wanted to link for contrast to an old-school version.  The blender version is unquestionably a no-brainer and results in a delicious Hollandaise-style sauce, a lemony yolky butter, thin enough to pour. A classical French Hollandaise sauce is an emulsified butter sauce that is almost like a mayonnaise, nearly that thick, and, as I was taught it, includes an additional flavoring step, a vinegar reduction.  It’s considered difficult and temperamental but it’s neither, as long as you pay attention and don’t let it know that you’re afraid of it.  Emulsified butter sauces can sense Read On »

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Photos by donna [I'm on a blog break from 5/17 through 5/31, so I'm putting up favorite food posts from the archives, this one on quiche published last July] On Wednesday I flew to Washington to make a quiche at the restaurant Proof for a segment on “All Things Considered” with one of the show’s new hosts, Guy Raz.  Guy said he read the Slate review of the book, which called my book Ratio “fascinating and pompous,” and was intrigued.  So he and his producer, Phil Harrel, requested a dish that combined two ratios.  Quiche immediately came to mind, using both the 3-2-1 pie dough ratio (I’ve lost track of the number of people who have written to thank me for getting them over their fear of pie dough) and the custard ratio (2 parts Read On »

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