My daughter was assisting Donna during these videos for Le Creuset cookware (which I love, and am genuinely honored to be working with this company; seriously, not worthy, but I try). After the shoot, Addison said, angrily, real anger, “Why don’t you make that potato cheesy thing for me?!” “Good lord,” I said, “I’d make them all the time if I thought you’d eat them!” [I didn't say, "Because of all the things you refused to eat when I tried to make good food for you!"] I cherish her but she’s difficult. Fact is, these are the easiest, best potatoes ever, and in this Le Creuset gratin dish, they not only cook perfectly, they’re gorgeous to serve. Watch the video—shallots are key, and I love that you can start the dish on the stovetop. And Le Read On »

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Last week I wrote about our first meal in Italy with the Motturas—the fineness of the meal and the pleasures of sitting down to many courses. But many courses didn’t mean many elaborate courses but rather food of the simplest order. The first course was composed of nothing more than day-old bread and a few garden vegetables, seasoned with vinegar and oil. When this was done, our host Alessandra disappeared from the table to make the soup course. It too used vegetables from the garden and water. I’ve long espoused the value of water, devoting a whole chapter to its many uses in Ruhlman’s Twenty, and I was pleased to see it used so efficiently here. So much so that I bought a couple of small summer squashes at our Saturday farmers’ market to make Read On »

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  On Saturday night, sitting in the Ohio State Theater waiting for Jim Gaffigan to go on, I got a tweet from Elise alerting me that a website had stolen my text and Donna’s photos from the following post. Elise, creator of the site Simply Recipes and vigilant crusader for blogger rights and general Internet justice, also sent me a link to the Google page to report copyright infringement. I wrote to Google, and the folks there had the theft taken down within days. So here’s a prime example of the very hard work Elise does, not just her consistently excellent publishing at Simply Recipes, but also her work on behalf of other bloggers. And also the mighty Hollandaise, one of the all-time great sauces for eggs, for vegetables, for fish … hell, I could just eat it Read On »

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  I have so much crap on my desk! Being gone for three weeks it piles up. Books I have to at least familiarize myself with, dried soy beans and a tofu press, the manuscript I’ve got to fix, knives and rolling pins and some weird Fagor three-way cooker to figure out, emails to respond to, the ineluctable … not modality of being … but the ineluctable compulsion to check twitter feed. OY! But I never get tired of mayonnaise you make yourself.  I don’t care if it’s with a hand blender or whisk. Helmann’s is fine—I use that too, but it’s not anywhere near homemade mayo. Two totally different products, and that’s and why I love it.  Its goodness is something you can’t buy. You have to make it yourself. I’ve posted on it Read On »

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  Back at my desk after three weeks on the road (daughter college trip/week in West Palm to visit Mom with Donna and the kids/NYC biz). NYC biz fun!!! Stayed with dear friend Annie LaG, with whom I’m working on a TV project (don’t hold your breath), following fab lunch at the always excellent Bar Boulud (thanks chefs Damian and Daniel! Your pâtés rock!); my book Twenty won an IACP award (yay!); had dinner with the mercurial Amanda Hesser after getting lost in Williamsburg thanks to dead iPhone 3G (ate at Isa, where two tables down was the excellent Eric Asimov, who was so kind to me at the NYTimes when he was a rising copy editor and I was a lowly copy boy in 1985, great to see you Eric!); had excellent softshell crab Read On »

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