This is not just a guacamole recipe and preparation, it’s a broader lesson about aromatics and acid and using seasonal foods.  It’s avocado season, so they’re really good now!  And they will be all summer long.  Avocados are one of my favorite fruits; they’re kind of like butter, a ready made sauce—all you have to do is adjust texture and add flavors. I recently offered this mortar and pestle to followers on OpenSky (more on OpenSky here), and it makes a gorgeous service piece in addition to being a practical cooking tool.  I mash garlic and salt to a paste, then add minced shallot (yes shallots!). Then I add lime juice. This is one of those great all-purpose techniques I use in many preparations, from mayo to vinaigrettes. First, the juice dissolves the salt so Read On »

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Do you prefer European or Asian knifes?  Find out more about the differences between the styles and which one suits you, via Chicago Tribune.

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Who would have thought I’d have a future with the man showing off his new Scooby Doo underwear in my kitchen at a New Year’s Day celebration?  Yet here we are!  Mac Dalton and I have conspired to create a small number of cooking tools that were either hard to find, non-existent or that we simply love. This is a big experiment for us. With little capital, we’re starting slow to gauge interest and are thus producing in limited numbers. We’ll be introducing more new tools as they become available. It’s important to say that these are not products some company has asked me to endorse or put my name on. We’ve created these tools based on my desire for them, and thanks to OpenSky, a new e-commerce site, we can distribute them efficiently.  We’re Read On »

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YES! It’s true!  The mad genius at Polyscience, Philip Preston—creator of the anti-griddle, the smoke gun (looks like paraphernalia I used to oogle at High Times on Coventry in the 70s), and other magico creations to make cooking more fun—has sent me the latest version of the Polyscience professional immersion circulator for sous vide cooking to play with, something I am eagerly doing.  But as I already have one, there is nothing for me to do but give this sleek machine away to one lucky reader! First, the circulator: the original now seems like a little Datsun compared to this sleek Beemer. Its design has been honed, its size has been tightened, its power enhanced. This baby operates great. Leave a comment on how you want to use the circulator along with a working email Read On »

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My number one pick for a great inexpensive gift to give a cook is a Japenese mandolin, aka a Benriner (the brandname). This is a tool virtually all cooks own, used for all manner of slicing, julienning and brunoising. Gnarly sweet potatoes become gorgeous chips. Under 20 bucks—can’t beat it. My most used small appliance is the hand blender, or immersion blender, a fabulous tool for pureeing soups and sauces, making vinaigrettes and mayos. Wouldn’t want to be without one. (The above link is to an inexpensive CuisinArt blender, here’s the KitchenAid version nearly 3 times as expensive but some feel it’s worth it.) If you’re really in to cooking, these round cutters come in handy for all kinds of baking, cooking, plating needs. I recently bought this fat separator and love it—simple ideas work Read On »

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