So so so many people tell me they have a cookbook to write, asking for advice, and I almost always do my best to discourage them, with Asian delicacy and Germanic firmness, I hope. Because I believe that there are too many cookbooks out there already and the ones so often published add nothing new. So when writer and educator Dianne Jacob asked me what does define a successful cookbook, it got me thinking. She’s written an excellent post collating many, many responses from people in the industry. The responses are surprising in their diversity. The first and obvious answer is, a book is successful if it makes money for the publisher and author.  And there are many ways this can happen, meaning that a book that sells 10,000 copies can be a resounding success Read On »

Share

My neighbor, Lois Baron, gave me a version of this recipe, which calls for roasting and braising a beef brisket. When I told her I intended to give it a shot using leftover pot roast she said, excellent idea! Kreplach, a great way to make use of leftovers. Kreplack are often called Jewish ravioli, a staple of Jewish cuisine. Consistent with that cuisine, the main item is cooked, then it’s cooked again, and then its cooked again. (Why is this?!) At least in Lois’s recipe. A brisket is roasted, then it’s braised, then it’s ground with seasonings and egg, wrapped in dough, boiled, cooled then cooked to serve. That’s three times that it gets fully cooked before being eaten. These are traditionally used in soup, and they’re great that way, but Lois fried some for me and Read On »

Share

This guest post is thanks to twitter, when someone asked me about pressure cooking eggs. I had never done them, but Laura Pazzaglia had. Laura is a pressure-cooker maniac living in Italy and blogging at hippressurecooking.com. My friend Annie LaG took her up on how to cook easy-peel hard-cooked eggs and pronounced them amazing. I have long been a fan of the egg and recently a fan of the pressure cooker (here’s the one I use, via Opensky.com). I love it especially when I want to have a quick stew ready for a weeknight dinner. A 2 to 4 hour stew can be completed start to finish in under and hour.  But the egg and the pressure cooker came together on twitter. I invited Laura to guest post and she eagerly agreed. In fact, she Read On »

Share

Marlene Newell, who runs an excellent cooking forum called CooksKorner tested all the recipes for Ratio and Twenty. She’s a friend and excellent cook. One of her passions is Yorkshire pudding, in effect, a savory popover, which is how she bakes them (as above). I, too, make roast beef for Christmans dinner and Yorkshire pudding. I believe it’s critical to cook it in beef fat, for flavor, so I buy and render suet for this purpose. I’ve also poured the batter straight into the roasting pan which works great so long as there are no burnt bits (the pudding ripples and puffs like crazy; I then cut it to serve). I imagine the roasting pan method was how it would have originated, the batter cooking in the fat and meat juices in the roasting pan. Read On »

Share

    Bacon truffle presented two ways. Photo by Carri Thurman Carri Thurman has been a friend since she traveled from her home in Homer, Alaska, to visit her fellow Homerian, Daniel Coyle, author and journalist who’d moved to Cleveland with his Cleveland-born wife—bless you, Dan! (His last book was The Talent Code, fascinating look into how talent is developed.) Carri runs Two Sisters Bakery in Homer, and she offers here some fabulous confections for the holidays, right up our alley, proving once again that chocolate, like life, is better with bacon. James and I will be making these as soon as school lets out. Thanks for sharing, Carri, and for all the helpful step-by-step pix! —MR by Carri Thurman Bacon and chocolate may be a passing fad in some peoples minds, but I think it Read On »

Share