I tried not to read Kim Severson’s New York Times article on the one-touch buttons on appliances at the International Home and Housewares show in Chicago.  You know the buttons that say “Cookies” on your toaster oven or the “Popcorn” button on your microwave that even ConAgra, maker of microwave popcorn, says you should not use.  My microwave, my toaster oven, they have these stupid, maddening, insulting, ridiculous, harmful buttons.  I hate them, but they’re unavoidable. I didn’t want to read Kim’s story—Electrolux oven has a “perfect turkey button,” put a turkey in, press a button, perfect turkey!—because I knew it would make … my … blood … BOIL! Hey!  Idiot manufacturers!  Cut it out!  The buttons don’t work—even your partners in food crime say so!  Worse, when they don’t work, you are telling your Read On »

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Over the weekend I was working on a recipe based on the traditional low country dish, shrimp and grits.  I’d found excellent grits from this company at my grocery store, I tapped my friend and former instructor Eve Felder for her recollections of growing up in Charleston, and I made shrimp and grits for Donna, a late dinner after seeing the amazing Jeff Bridges performance in Crazy Heart. I’d made extra grits so in cleaning up after dinner, I poured the leftovers into a springform pan and refrigerated them.  By morning they were solid and sliceable. Donna happened to be setting up to shoot wine braised short ribs and semolina egg noodles.  I happened to be hungry.  I also happened to have some duck sausage and chicken sausage (from Charcuterie) on hand, a gift for Read On »

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I’m so pleased with results of the cooked eggnog I wrote for the last post, I wanted to give an official tested recipe.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I’m a fan of raw egg eggnog, as well as aged-for-two-years raw eggnog. I don’t believe anyone should be afraid of eating raw egg (especially if you buy organic or well-raised eggs).  Raw yolk on raw ground beef is a delight, a kind of ready made sauce. I love a homemade mayo, a runny poached egg.  Indeed, raw or warm egg is one of the great pleasures of cooking and eating.  So here’s to lots of eggs in 2010—may more of them be laid by healthy happy chickens! But there are those who may be concerned or have reason not to take any chances.  There are also those who Read On »

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The guy I buy arugula from at our market has a neighbor who raises quail and he brings a few dozen of the eggs each week to sell for his neighbor. I got a batch of each not too long ago (he grows lettuce under plastic well into December).  I’ve scarcely touched quail eggs.  A couple times in culinary school (garde manger, quail egg and caviar pizza). But they were not something I thought much about.  That’s changed. If they’re available to you (I’m told you can often find them at Asian markets) they’re a lot of fun, special because of their size, and easy to work with. They make an impressive canapé.  This is a take on eggs Benedict: arugula sautéed with shallot, bacon, English muffin croutons, topped with a little fried quail egg Read On »

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