After my minor salt rant, a number of people asked which salt to use and what I thought about various salts.  There are a mind-numbing array of salts out there, even big blocks of salt you can cook and serve on.  But, with apologies to Mark Bitterman, whose work and business I truly admire, I stick to three salts.  Kosher is my all-purpose, everyday, really-don’t-need-any-other-kind salt.  I use Morton’s because that’s what my grocery store stocks. If they offered a choice, I’d use Diamond Crystal, which is flakier and doesn’t have any anti-caking agents in it.  It’s just salt.  I use fine sea salt to season fish and vegetables I eat raw.  And I use a finishing salt for visual and textural appeal, fleur de sel or Maldon. I was given some smoked salt, which Read On »

Share

Last year, The French Laundry Cookbook Team, published Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide, a book spearheaded by per se chef de cuisine Jonathon Benno and featuring the dishes of him, his French Laundry counterpart Corey Lee, and Thomas Keller.  The book was explicitly geared toward professional chefs (recipes are in metric weights) because this form of cooking was at the time most applicable to restaurant kitchens.  The capacity to cook food sous vide, that is vacuum sealed and submerged in water kept at low precise temperatures, is perfectly suited to the demands of cooking for large numbers because food hit a specific temperature and stays there, no real chance to overcook.  But also the equipment was prohibitively expensive, with chamber vacuum sealers and immersion circulators (the device that heats the water) costing several thousand dollars. Read On »

Share

We felt it was time to try to add video and here’s the first attempt.  WARNING: very low tech and echo-y sound but we couldn’t wait any longer so my friend Joe appeared one afternoon with a camera and there we are. Like the blog, the videos are a continual work in progress.  Maybe I’ll invest in a microphone! I chose pate a choux because I had  blogged about it (see this post for finished photos of all the preparations).  Also, it was an easy demo of an easy preparation I want more people to do for themselves.  Steamy recently blogged about it, as have others. Also, it’s a great recipe for the holidays and entertaining.  You can make the dough ahead and refrigerate till you’re ready to bake.  They make great canapes.  Fill them Read On »

Share

Faithful readers, cooks, strangers, welcome to the new design! I wanted Donna’s photography to stand out so we toned down all the color (above, I was dicing onion week before last for an easy, midweek coq au vin preparation— love the light she got on that onion!). I also hope to bring in new readers, so I made the social media prominent on the right and will be sending out a newsletter to those who are interested in additional material. I hope the blog will be easier to read, have a more consistent in look, with no more Kraft salad dressing ads in the left column next to the post!  There will be more smaller changes in the future, but this is the big one, master minded by designer Joe Watson (thanks Joe!) and engineered Read On »

Share

At a reader’s request I’m reposting on how to make perfect stock, by slow cooking it in the oven.  It’s a very low-maintenance, easy way to make stock—just stick it in a low oven and forget about it. I’d meant to post on Friday but the weekend has gotten away from me, and now most people have either discarded their carcass (sadly) or put it to use.  But there may be a carcass or two hanging around.  Also, since this method works with a chicken carcass as well, any time of the year, and because Pierre sent me two turkey illustrations, better late than never! (Pierre has just published a funny, fun, thoroughly unique cookbook, called Kitchen Scraps: A Humorous Illustrated Cookbook.  Congrats Pierre, excellent work!) Turkey Stock: Oven Method Put all the turkey bones Read On »

Share