Pickled Rhubarb and spruce tips with fresh Sorrel makes a light and bright summer palate cleanser.

The rhubarb and spruce tip pickles in the photo above (and post below) by Carri Thurman, baker and chef at Two Sisters Bakery in Homer, Alaska, make, she says, a refreshing palate cleanser. I knew you could pickle rhubarb. I didn’t know you could eat pine needles for pleasure. Below, how a chance phone call and a culinary curiosity resulted in an intriguing preparation (and a solid all-purpose vinegar-based pickling ratio).—M.R. by Carri Thurman It has been unsettlingly sunny and warm this spring here in Alaska, but thanks to the still cool nights the season is lingering a little later here than down south—or “Outside,” as we like to call it. This gives us a little more time to capture nature’s emerging bounty before it fades into the true heat of summer. One recent sunny day I arrived Read On »

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Fritatta-X3@1020

  Egg promotion is winding down, but what a lot of attention it got! (NPR’s Steve Inskeep talked to me about it on Morning Edition. It inspired an egg-centric stroll through Manhattan with NYTimes reporter Alex Witchel. It was covered favorably in Sunday’s NYTBR by William Grimes. Debbi Snook covered it for my hometown paper. And the Wall Street Journal ran an excerpt on page one of its weekend section.) But now that the fun is subsiding, I reflect on where it began: for me with this humble frittata. In fourth grade someone told me or I saw on TV how to make one. And so, home alone with only four channels to entertain me, the video game Pong a blip on the horizon, and hungry, really hungry, I made the above. It was not just the creation itself that Read On »

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Ramps-@1020

  “Ramp” by Donna Turner Ruhlman.   Because I love this photo and because they’re here. If it weren’t already apparent at your local Farmer’s Market, Kim Severson spells it out in her story about weather and food in today’s Times. Specifically, the long winter we’ve had, the late spring, and what it means for what we have to eat that’s grown nearby. I’m doing a special private dinner tomorrow at Spice on Cleveland’s West Side, whose chef, Ben Bebenroth, is one of the city’s most outspoken chef-locavores. He had been planning to put the season’s first asparagus on the menu, but they simply haven’t grown yet. So rather than buy asparagus grown in California or wherever, he’s amending his courses for an all-Ohio late spring menu. Here at our house, we’re roasting young chickens, lots of Read On »

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Shirred-eggs-florentine-

In honor of Mother’s Day two weeks hence, Mac has reduced the price of all our kitchen tools by 40% if you use the promo code “mothers” for this week only (ends Friday 5/2 at midnight eastern). Simply type that word in Step 2 under “Discounts” and Shopify will tabulate it. Mac Dalton and I created these tools to make cooking easier and more practical. Flat-edged wood spoons are an essential in my kitchen, as are the offset spoons and the deep all-purpose perforated spoon, aka Badass Egg Spoon (which has already changed many lives! or one at least). And I can’t keep your knives sharp for you but I can give you a place to put them. This in-drawer knife holder is one of my most valuable items—the second photo is of my knife drawer Read On »

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Baby turnips, greens and all, sautéed in butter. 
All veggies from The Chef's Garden. All pix by Donna Turner Ruhlman.

I have never seen Donna so unhinged by vegetables, behind the camera or eating them. She moaned when she tasted. I’d done almost nothing to the baby turnips. I’d sautéed them in a little butter. That was it. Salt. Done. She said, “Oh my God, if you had a restaurant that served just this with a small medallion of meat, it would kill.” It once again showed the truth of what Thomas Keller once said to me: “If you have better product than I do, you can be a better chef than me.” This began last week when Donna and I had to shoot really beautiful radishes and peas. But it’s February. In Cleveland. Not likely to happen. Unless I cast a glance about 50 miles west to the rural town of Huron, OH, home Read On »

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