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September has always felt like the actual start of the year so, after a long hiatus from this space, I return. I began blogging in 2006 after Megnut invited me to post on her site. Blogs mushroomed then, spawning numerous books and even a movie. Now, I’m not sure where they are or who reads them. Am I wrong in thinking that there are fewer now and that people are spending their time reading more established sites such as Serious Eats, The Kitchn, and Food 52? I’ve been through a tumultuous year. I and Donna, my wife of 25 years and the photographer of so much on this site and in books, have divorced. I reside, at least for now, in New York City’s West Village. I’ve completed the next book, about grocery stores and the buying Read On »

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IMG_3898

  Just back from a fabulous trip to Hawaii on a magazine assignment. Such a great time, wanted to share some iPhone shots. Top: Opah, at the Honolulu fish auction. Terribly shabby view from my hotel in Maui, the Andaz resort. Breakfast at Lee Anne Wong’s Koko Head Cafe (garlic rice, beef patty, mushroom gravy, egg). Below: Adam Watten of the soon-to-be-opened Hanai, a market and eating venue, standing at his makeshift smoker. Lee Anne Wong with chef Mark Noguchi. A farmers’ market on Kauai. Watten’s menu for the night he cooked for a group of us. Chickens on the beach in Kauai, where the birds run wild all over the island. The Papahana Kuaola, a restoration site on Oahu. Soursop fruit at farmers’ market. The biggest Spam display I’ve ever seen. Smoke-roasted baby pig from Steelgrass Farm, Kauai.   My final mai tai, alas. The Read On »

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Key-Lime-Merigue4

Down in Key West on my annual boondoggle to cook for my cousins Rob and Ab and their merry band of sailors as they narrowly hang onto second place in their J-111 class, and their son, Ryan, skippers the 88, with his sister cousin Maegan aboard. And so, in honor of place, I’m posting this recipe from my book Egg: An Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient: a key lime tart. It is indeed one of the finer desserts I know, custard made with yolks, topped with sweetened, whipped egg whites that are lightly browned. It’s been a week of fun food, fish tacos (using beautiful yellow tail snapper), a lobster night which is always something of a celebratory meal (with leftover strip steaks), last night an easy protein for me, D’Artagnan’s most excellent duck Read On »

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Turkey-Dressing2

I’m in the Miami airport, Cleveland bound, having been a part of the amazing Miami Book Fair to promote my new collection of novellas, In Short Measures, love stories. Met some hero fiction writers, such as Elizabeth McCracken, whose “Thunderstruck” is one of the best short stories I’ve read in years. Also Mary Gaitskill, who scares the shit out of me, Rick Moody, who does not, Mary Karr, on whom I crush, and new writer friends Les Standiford, John Dufresne, and Cindi Chinelly. What a great fair, thanks to Mitchell Kaplan and Books & Books. Reposting the following for those looking for a delicious and simple Thanksgiving dressing: The nice thing about blogging as opposed to newspapering is that I don’t feel the obligation to always come up with a new way of roasting turkey Read On »

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Duck Confit with Pepper/Coriander Cure

As fall nears, my thoughts turn to duck confit. I hope you’ll put this excellent and simple technique into your repertoire this fall. It’s a great way to have a delicious meal moments away all fall and into the winter if you make one big batch. It keeps for many months in the fridge. Here’s my method using olive oil, which works great. I love it so much that when Thomas Keller asked me to submit a piece for Finesse, his elegant magazine, on the theme of preservation, my mind went straight to duck confit. I’m reprinting it here in anticipation of fall cooking. It’s about a lot more than deliciousness. (And for the literary folks, I’ll be in Raleigh tomorrow—9/18/15—for the Southern Indie Booksellers Association event, promoting my new fiction, In Short Measures. On Sunday Read On »

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