pasta with asparagus & egg X3 @540

    I just spent several days in Philadelphia hanging out with a group of small(ish) family grocers. Food highlights were the excellent burger at Bank & Bourbon on arrival, a Yards rye ale, followed by a flight of bourbons that finished with a very good special barrel from Knob Creek specifically for the bar. Last night’s dinner at Spraga was great—what a lovely room. The starting foie and ginger soup (I think they said foie) was outstanding, as were the duck and lobster pastas. Highly recommend. Also spent some time tasting amazing cheeses at DiBruno Bros. on Chestnut Street. Fabulous Von Trapp Oma, a raw milk cheese that had great balance of flavor and richness. I’m off now to Minneapolis to see some more grocery stores and attend the AWP conference. I’m on the road and busy, Read On »

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  When I saw Sam Sifton announcing in the NYTimes weekly cooking letter that he was featuring a video by Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs on How to Make a Grilled Cheese Sandwich Without a Recipe, I checked the calendar. Nope, not April 1st. What could they possibly be thinking? I wondered. Who needs a recipe for grilled cheese? Or am I that out of touch? When all the cooks out there hanker for a grilled cheese sandwich, do they go in search of a recipe? Honestly, I thought it was a spoof. And I love all parties involved and have great respect for all three mentioned. Sifton has done an amazing job overseeing the expansion of the Times’s food offerings, both in the paper and importantly online. (Did you see the great video on the Times Read On »

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Roasted-root-vegs

    Two reasons to celebrate today: the publication of the first in my series of technique books, How to Roast, and the end of the Hachette-Amazon book pricing war. Presumably Amazon will no longer hide my books, or those by other authors at Little, Brown or any of the six houses Hachette runs. (They’ve just placed an order, my publisher tells me, so they should have them next week; till then, if you want to purchase do so through indies or B&N links below.) And the way to celebrate is to give away signed copies of the book! I will be giving away FIVE copies to randomly chosen commenters. You must in the comments tell me either your favorite food to roast or, if it is chicken (my fave), what your favorite side dish is Read On »

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Potato-blog

  Beware the cancer lurking within these harmless-looking spuds/iPhoto by Donna The New York Times recently called my attention to the USDA approval of a new genetically modified potato intended to reduce cancer by eliminating acrylamide. What is acrylamide? Here’s a link with lots of other links. It causes cancer in rats and therefore, maybe, in humans? We don’t know for certain. In one of these links a scientist guessed that 3,000 people a year get cancer from acrylamide, though on what he based his guess is, well, anybody’s guess. Here’s a headline I’d like to see in The Onion: Scientist Working to Extinguish Sun in Bold Effort to Eradicate Some Skin Cancers. And here’s my rant line: We fuck with our food at our own peril. The Times dutifully quoted people on both sides of the issue. Read On »

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Baked buttered corn. Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

                              I think I post this recipe and preparation each year because its so good, and at this time of year, as the corn begins to lose its sweetness and grow bigger and starchier, there’s no better way to cook it. I use this corn cutter, but you could slice the kernels off the cob and puree two-thirds of them in a blender for the same effect. Baking a mixture of pureed corn and whole kernels, cooking off much of the liquid, reduces the corn to an intensely sweet rich corn pudding. Nothing but corn, butter, salt, and pepper. This dish, on a cool September evening, is for me a sweet, salty reminder of summer’s inevitable deliquescence. Baked Corn 6 to 8 Read On »

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