One of the conundrum of grilling meat is that the process of cooking doesn’t start a sauce for you, as a roast chicken does, as pan roasting a pork loin does, as all braises do. What then to sauce the meat with?  An emulsified butter sauce is the perfect answer.  And there is no better emulsified butter sauce than the Béarnaise.  This French classic was a childhood staple, a symbol for me of plenty, and also of the security my mom and dad gave me.  I wrote about it for Parade Magazine many years ago. My mom made it the old fashioned way: a reduction of shallot, tarragon, tarragon vinegar, and egg yolks in a double boiler.  She used the recipe from James Beard’s Menus For Entertaining.  (It’s also in his superb American Cookery, one 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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This eggs Benedict post has new recipes for Hollandaise sauce and sourdough English muffins but I have to begin with the angry comment on my Tomato Sauce post. A reader was clearly miffed that I would suggest that anyone who works make their own tomato sauce. Well, I do suggest this, but I hasten to add that it’s not homemade or nothing. I’ve bought jarred tomato sauce when I knew I wouldn’t have time to make it myself. It’s more expensive, doesn’t taste as good and isn’t as much fun, but there are only so many hours in the day, and someday there’s just no time. My second response to Angry Reader is that he should do this: Make Eggs Benedict From Scratch! Yea, verily! And so should you, because the whole impact from flavor Read On »

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A basic tomato sauce is easy and delicious on its own and an elegant cooking tool as well. Braise beef, pork or lamb in it, add it to ground meat for a pasta sauce, poach eggs in it. It’s delicious plain. I returned from New York on Friday and saw a 24-ounce jar of a “celebrity chef” sauce on the counter. Donna said, “It’s really good.”  Then added, “But it cost nine dollars.” Make your own—50% more sauce, 50% of the cost, 100% more pleasure. The above photo shows the difference between a tomato sauce cooked raw, top, and a tomato sauce made by sauteing the tomatoes before pureeing and cooking them.  Both work fine. The fresh sauce tastes fresh and raw, the sauce made with cooked tomatoes has more depth and complexity. If you Read On »

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