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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Fried chicken, done right, is one of the best things to eat on earth. It’s all about the proportions—crunchiness: juiciness: chewiness: savoriness. And this ratio hits golden proportions with the wing, lots of crunchy peppery surface area and sweet succulent meat. The study of fried chicken began for me in 2007 during discussions, observations and eating with chef Dave Cruz at Ad Hoc in Yountville, CA, as we worked on the book Ad Hoc at Home. While Ad Hoc’s method of flour-buttermilk-flour is not unique, their trial and error experimentation with various methods (including sous vide), proved to them and to me, that this method is indeed superlative. That was 2007, and I’ve since fried a lot of chicken. My recipe is in Ruhlman’s Twenty. I think it’s better than the one in Ad Hoc (I Read On »

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