Lamb-X3

Having come into the possession of several exquisite lamb tenderloins from the well-known and much admired John Jamison, and it being too cold for pleasant grilling, I pondered what to do with them. I wanted to flavor but not overpower them. So I returned to an old idea: the cooked marinade. Marinades do one thing: they flavor the outside of the meat. That, combined with a grill pan, would give just the flavor I wanted. If you infuse the oil with aromatics and partially cook those aromatics, the aromatics themselves (here, garlic and shallot) are more deeply flavorful. I’m loving my grill pan this winter. It does add flavor in ways that oil in a skillet does not. It helps to have one with a top piece that you can use to press down on Read On »

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Vegetarian or just a mushroom lover, this is a recipe that should be made this fall, via NYT.      

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We’re back with another cooking lesson and Le Creuset giveaway! This time with my favorite cooking method: braising. Why is it my favorite? Because it so definitively expresses what real cooking is: transformation. Great cooking is about transforming something that would be unpleasant to eat into something exquisite. In my view, grilling a steak is not cooking, it’s heating. That’s not to diminish grilling steaks—one of my favorite activities and foods to eat. It can be done well or poorly, but it doesn’t transform food, which is what truly inspires me in the kitchen. To transform pork shoulder into a sausage is cooking. Whether caramelizing onions to develop their sweetness or toasting seasonings in a pan to grind and create a curry, that’s cooking. And braising, transforming tough cuts of meat into meltingly tender mouthfuls of Read On »

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I’m introducing today Sandy Bergsten, a friend since 7th grade, and a relatively new blogger who has something to say about entertaining, which is what her site AndSheCooks2.com is all about: “Entertaining with ease.” Sandy is a former professional cook who loves to entertain and she simply has always given the best dinner parties—whether from her tiny Manhattan apartment when she lived there or her house in Cleveland, and now in Dayton, Ohio. She was so good at it, made it look so easy, I encouraged her to blog about it.  She’s taken up the challenge and I’ve requested a brief Q&A on entertaining issues people have and what she advises. Sandy is also sharing with us her recipe for Risotto Carbonara.   Michael Ruhlman: Hi, Sandy, thanks for being here and answering a few of Read On »

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Ivy Manning examines the history of this Szechuan dish which was names for a 19th century bureaucrat, via Oregonlive.com

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