Here’s the latest Le Creuset technique video: pizza. So easy and delicious. Make a big batch of dough ahead of time, then portion it and freeze it so you can make pizza whenever the whim strikes! (Note: technique begins at 1:11 of the video.) And even better, Le Creuset is giving away three—count ‘em, THREE!—of these pans! To enter you need to leave a comment with your most original idea for homemade pizza, or tell me your favorite pizza to make at home, or the one, after watching the video, you most want to try. Right this minute I’m hankering for a bacon and egg pizza! (Be sure to leave an email that works so I can contact you; U.S. entries only, alas.) And here’s the link to the potluck entry page. All the technique videos Read On »

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After giving me a lesson in how thin I needed to roll the dough to make a proper knish, my neighbor Lois sat down with me in my kitchen to tape the audio for a planned iPad app called The Book of Schmaltz. I had intended to use only the audio, but now that the app is temporarily unavailable because of the publication of the hardcover book, I find Lois’s words too engaging (and funny) to hide. And so here I present her thoughts on schmaltz, chicken fat rendered with onion, against the backdrop of our messy kitchen backdoor area. She is an articulate woman who waxes beautiful on this most ethereal of fats. And, from this humble goy to Jews far and wide, L’Shanah Tovah. May your year be fruitful and filled with schmaltzy goodness. Read On »

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Back again with another technique and recipe—here the classic béchamel sauce, one of the great, yet rarely used, sauces for the home kitchen. We don’t always have veal stock around for classical demi or Espagnole, or often any stock for a velouté. But milk we do have: flavor it with some shallot, a little nutmeg, salt and pepper, thicken it with cooked flour and you have a dynamite all-purpose sauce, for chicken, fish, or my favorite sandwich on earth, the croque madame. So, so good. This is a great weekend lunch or anytime dinner. (FYI, I love the montage that opens these videos but if you’ve seen it, the technique begins at 1:11.) I asked to use this particular Le Creuset vessel because of its clever utility. In restaurant kitchens, sauté pans regularly double as Read On »

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We’re back again with another valuable technique, the water bath, essential for gentle cooking. The water bath uses the miracle tool, water. Water makes life as we know it possible. It’s one of the only substances that expands when it freezes rather than contracts (if it didn’t, ice would sink, not simply ruining your gin and tonic, but rendering the gin and tonic moot, as most of habitable earth would be flooded). Water cannot go above 212°F in normal circumstances (it can if you heat it under pressure or, with less pressure, specifically at high altitudes, it turns to gas at lower temperatures). And importantly, it cools as it evaporates (which is why sweating cools our body). In this video we use it to gently cook emulsified shrimp and cream, mixed with whole chunks of Read On »

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Introducing the first of a new series of cooking videos on technique, though admittedly this one focuses on an actual Le Creuset piece, the cocotte. I love these little dishes. They’re great to cook in and great to serve in. I’m dying to do a little snail potpie in them. In this video, though, I’m cooking my favorite ingredient, the egg. How many ways can this little miracle of nutrition and economy be brought to ethereal heights of soul-satisfying deliciousness? Enough to fill a book or ten (wait for mine, coming in April). Here, I’m going with perhaps the easiest way of all to cook an egg, baked in an enclosed vessel. There are three different terms applied to eggs cooked in an oven. The second, after baked, is coddled: covered and baked in a Read On »

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