It turns the stomach, the kind of email Marlene sent me over the weekend. Marlene who runs the cooking site CooksKorner said that one of Ruhlman’s Twenty recipe testers, Matthew Kayahara, had done a 4x recipe of the cookies in the book (page 161), the basic cinnamon-sugar cookie, and it was badly out of whack. Indeed, when Marlene checked what was in the book, she found that the published recipe contained three times the amount of granulated sugar it should have. It’s a book writer’s nightmare. It also reminds me what a great thing an ebook is or an app that updates on your device automatically. But there is some small recourse. I can announce the error here and publish a correction. Here it is, the tested and true snickerdoodle recipe, based on one sent Read On »

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Been so busy recently have scarcely had time to post.  Just got back from taking James to camp :(  My chief videographer and dessert innovator. I was in Boston talking salt on Simply Ming.  I was in NYC working on confections with Bouchon Bakery head chef Sebastien Rouxel and putting together a pitch for a chef drama with some friends.  I came home to find a great new ice cream book from Ohio’s own Jeni Britton Bauer!  Salt, sweets, ice cream, and an unused photo donna shot for the new book due out in fall: salted-caramel! Of course.  Caramel is one of those awesome no brainer dessert sauces that more people ought to do at home.  Takes 10 minutes tops, uses inexpensive ingredients, and is easy ( just be sure to use a really big Read On »

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In the headlong rush to turn everything into an app, we have created amazing apps (shazam is truly amazing) and ridiculous apps (won’t name names). The publishers of cookbooks and chefs are among them.  Some publishers (S&S, my last publisher) are not entering the market; smaller more agile ones are (Chronicle, by chance publishing my next book). But what makes a valuable app? Since teaming up with Will Turnage, VP of technology and invention for the digital media firm R/GA, I’ve been creating apps for the iPad and smartphones and so have been thinking about how to proceed.  They take a lot of time and work and so far, return on investment is spotty (except in the games department). My goal is to create only apps that take unique advantage of the technology available.  Therefore, Read On »

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It is time again to bring out The Chicken-Fried Pork Belly Salad, which I created in August 2007 in the midst of my fury at the chief icon of American restaurant food: The Chicken Caesar.  Today’s post was sparked by Sam Sifton’s NYTimes magazine column on the Caesar salad, which addresses the fact that few dishes are truly authentic, and he uses the Caesar salad as an example. For me putting a chicken breast on a perfectly good Caesar is an emblem of American mediocrity, a lack of imagination, and our fear of food (The Shame of the Chicken Caesar Salad). But Sifton, while he makes the unconscionable error of failing to include my Chicken Fried Pork Belly Casear in his list of famous variations, does us a service by telling us a freeing truth: Read On »

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How-to-make-pasta instructions almost always include putting flour on your counter or board, forming a well and cracking your eggs into the well.  I almost always wind up with egg white on my shoe when I do this.  It only dawned on me while working on the pasta dough ratio for Ratio that this well method was completely unnecessary and that I would never have to wipe egg white off my shoe again.  The dough is thoroughly mixed and kneaded till smooth so how you incorporate the eggs isn’t critical. I imagine the original reason for the well method was that it saved on cleaning a bowl, but I would rather clean a bowl than my shoe and floor.  The well method is romantic, encouraging a measure-by-eye attitude and evoking images of an Italian grandma in Read On »

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