Earlier in the season, I taped a grilling demo for a new Cleveland company called Sideways, specializing in digital publishing, including the eponymous magazine for the iPad (next issue is out Monday, youtube promo here). It accompanied my story on grilling. The idea that the iPad can include multiple pix (even a flip-pad presentation of cooking technique), video, text and recipes is exciting and Sideways was the first company I know of to create such a work.  I think this video is too long, more than 15 minutes, or it needs to be broken into shorter chapters, but it’s not bad for a first try.  They recently posted it to youtube, so here it is. Grilling 101, human’s original cooking method: Spatchcocked chicken, grilling asparagus, and grilling sausage.  I believe Hank Shaw made fun of Read On »

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Why DON’T we trace a cake pan and cut out the circle with scissors?  Because its easier faster and more accurate to fold and cut with a knife! I line a cake pan with a circle so that it comes out clean. I put a parchment circle with a hole in the middle over braising things like lamb shanks and short ribs to allow some reduction. Video by Donna using my iPhone (gosh I love my ((G3)) iPhone).

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Chef Pardus blew through Cleveland a couple weeks ago, and with summer in full swing we had loads of little cukes on hand (we also did veal heart again, got it on video, stay tuned).  While there was much to do in getting dinner out (tongue salad with new potatoes, calves liver and onions, corn relish, cucumber sunomono, grilled foie gras (grilling foie takes some serious attention!), and the grilled heart with an herb shallot vinaigrette—Pardus found time to get my pickles on the cure.  Because of time constraints and other issues, he didn’t add aromatics.  What he did was make a 3% brine. I have for years been using a 5% brine for everything, pickles, chicken, pork, etc.  But this 3% worked great and I’m thinking that if you’re not going to be removing Read On »

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I’ve long wanted to post a chicken trussing video because there are so many silly videos out there that make it seem incredibly complicated.  Of the many good ways of trussing a chicken, Brian’s method here is solid and simple.  Brian of course is the co-author of Charcuterie and chef/owner of Forest and Cinco Lagos outside Detroit. I must clarify something here—it was noted to me by Bob del Grosso, who documented it at the Culinary Institute of America—that the main reason you truss a chicken is to ensure a juicy breast.  That’s what the even cooking part means. If the chicken isn’t trussed, hot air circulates in the bird’s cavity and will overcook and dry out the breast before the legs and thighs are done.  If you do not want to truss the chicken, Read On »

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On our trip to Italy, Brian Polcyn and I saw a lot of new cuts we weren’t familiar with, so as soon as we returned, we made plans to break down a couple of pigs Italian style, bringing in chef Jay Denham, who was recently back from five months staging in Italy.  We wanted to see how he broke a half animal into primals and we also wanted to learn the culatello cut.  Jay had spent many weeks staging at Massimo Spigaroli’s operation, learning this technique for producing what some consider to be the finest version of prosciutto di Parma there is. Jay and Brian arrived Tuesday evening and we started with a salumi tasting from American producers.  We tasted salamis from Knight Salumi in San Diego, I had some Mangalista belly and lardo from Read On »

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