Photo by Donna I screwed up the brine for these and wound up with amazing short rib pastrami, below, but I remade the brine and got it right, nothing but tarragon and garlic.  I like dill and dill pickles, but I love tarragon flavored pickles, which is the dominant herb in cornichon. I also prefer the flavor of the "natural" or "traditional" pickle, one that uses no vinegar.  Allowing lactic acid bacteria to feed on sugars in the vegetable and release acid, you create a sharp, but not vinegar-sharp, flavor. You also get the pleasure in this style of pickling of working with something that’s alive, like yeast or creating your own vinegar.  This works with most vegetables, not just cucumbers.  How do you do this, get those bacteria working for you?  By leaving the Read On »

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Photos by Donna Last Sunday morning, my son James said, “Dad, what if you made a bowl out of cookie dough?” I’m the first to admit that there are almost no truly new culinary innovations or ideas, only variations on what’s come before us, and I also know that making a cookie to serve ice cream on, such as an ice cream sandwich, is a common one (some great recipes will be in Ad Hoc At Home, now at the printers). But when James said it, I said, “Very cool idea, James.  Let’s give it a shot.” And so we did.  We posted a Twitpic and fellow Twitters were likewise enthusiastic. It’s taken a few different methods to figure out the best way to bake them and how much to put in our bowl-in-a-bowl makeshift Read On »

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