Earlier in the season, I taped a grilling demo for a new Cleveland company called Sideways, specializing in digital publishing, including the eponymous magazine for the iPad (next issue is out Monday, youtube promo here). It accompanied my story on grilling. The idea that the iPad can include multiple pix (even a flip-pad presentation of cooking technique), video, text and recipes is exciting and Sideways was the first company I know of to create such a work.  I think this video is too long, more than 15 minutes, or it needs to be broken into shorter chapters, but it’s not bad for a first try.  They recently posted it to youtube, so here it is. Grilling 101, human’s original cooking method: Spatchcocked chicken, grilling asparagus, and grilling sausage.  I believe Hank Shaw made fun of Read On »

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Week 12 of our CSA. No surprise with the tomatoes and corn, and no disappointment either.  Though five ears corn doesn’t even cover breakfast for me. Beans were great, peaches wouldn’t want to wait longer (and one of those peaches harbors a scary stinging bug that scared the hell out of me when I bit down to the pit.  But damn, Ohio peaches?  They don’t last long but they are amazing—deeply flavored, sweet, succulent.  Georgia may grow more but they don’t grow them better. And those raspberries were more raspberrier than any I’ve had. That acorn squash, so bittersweet.  Are we moving into squash season? Are those leaves outside my window turning to brown already.  Where did summer go?  Oh, sigh.  James started school today.  Where did my youth go? How can squash make me Read On »

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Dinner, last minute vegetarian delight in this heat: a good toasted baguette, butter, and fat tomatoes that ripened whilst we discovered bahn mi in little Saigon in LA, hiked up the river to Copake Falls in upstate New York, leapt off of 40 foot ledges at an old quarry outside West Stockbridge, swam in the rivers around Dorset, Vermont, swung in hammocks as the sun descended, grilled chicken and corn, drank cold wine and sent paper lanterns to the stars. I have never had more work on my plate, two major books due more or less simultaneously this summer, and rarely has a summer included so much travel and mandatory relaxation, so many hours outdoors with Donna and the kids.  And now I’m home, work weighing on my shoulders a fortunate yoke, while the summer Read On »

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Picked up our CSA this weekend, potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, lettuce, and SURPRISE! More Zucchini! Actually, I’m starting to like the zucchini challenge.  Too hot for what I want to do for it—mix it with cheese and gratin it.  I’ll wait till cooler fall to go that route. I’ve had a nostalgic urge to make zucchini bread, which I haven’t had since my mom made it when I was a kid and the notion of a sweet cake made with a vegetable was bizarre and fascinating. But I opted for a fallback here, and still one of the best and easiest ways to make zucchini: saute it.  I think its texture is best when you julienne it.  With my handy Benriner mandoline (left), it takes about 30 seconds per zucchini. The result is Read On »

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Chef Pardus blew through Cleveland a couple weeks ago, and with summer in full swing we had loads of little cukes on hand (we also did veal heart again, got it on video, stay tuned).  While there was much to do in getting dinner out (tongue salad with new potatoes, calves liver and onions, corn relish, cucumber sunomono, grilled foie gras (grilling foie takes some serious attention!), and the grilled heart with an herb shallot vinaigrette—Pardus found time to get my pickles on the cure.  Because of time constraints and other issues, he didn’t add aromatics.  What he did was make a 3% brine. I have for years been using a 5% brine for everything, pickles, chicken, pork, etc.  But this 3% worked great and I’m thinking that if you’re not going to be removing Read On »

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