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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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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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