Christoph Wiesner, the Austrian butcher who raises Mangalitsa, is always tense before the kill. Last year, he told me, yes, he was nervous because it wasn’t his pig, the pig didn’t know him, he couldn’t know what the pig would do. Under normal circumstances the pigs have spent their lives with him and the week before they are done in, he brings the captive bolt, the stunning device, into pens so the pigs are used to even that. The pigs are calm throughout. This year, at Pigstock in Traverse City, MI, Christoph was not only unfamiliar to the pig, he was miked so that his every word echoed through speakers. Furthermore our crowd gathered around to witness the kill. Our Mangalitsa was clearly thinking “This can’t be good.” But it was over quickly (the full video is at the end Read On »

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The Madison based company has a Kickstarter campaign to share their Hazards Analysis and Critical Control POints (HACCP) plans with everyone, via Food Tech Connect.      

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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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