We have a wonderful mushroom grower at our farmers’ market and as mushrooms are one of Donna’s favorite foods, I try to cook them as often as possible. (The above photo by Donna shows shiitake and sliced lion’s mane mushrooms.) But a lot of people ask me the best way to cook them. While there’s no one single right way, my preferred method is a high-heat sear followed by a deglazing with white wine, then adding butter and finishing over low heat. This goes back to my days as a cook at Sans Souci in Cleveland, where I worked only briefly. But the executive chef there was Claude Rodier, who had trained under French chef Roger Vergé. He told me the above—get the pan super hot; sear them to get color, which means flavor; then Read On »
Why do I continue to think work will ease up, give me a chance to catch my breath? I’m not complaining. I love all my work and feel lucky in too many ways to count. I don’t feel like Sisyphus pushing the rock up the hill. I feel like the rock. Accelerating down the hill, a long hill, and the longer it rolls the faster it goes and the more unstoppable it becomes. I’m just hoping that’s not a big wall way down there. As I type this, designs for my own kitchen scale are downloading—it’s going to be a very cool scale. I have to work on and approve packaging we’re designing for a few of our tools to be able to get them in stores. This site is still under maintenance. I have Read On »
I wanted to take a moment to appreciate arugula because, well, Donna had the urge to photograph it. These are from our local market and it’s probably the most tasty green I’ve ever had. How a green packs such a powerful taste, I don’t know (if anyone does, please educate me). Must be good for you! Even James likes this leaf. Thanks, Donna, for this photo. Love the intense pleasures of fresh arugula. It’s very stemmy so takes some picking, but it’s well worth it, especially raw but also lightly sautéed. Working hard on revising this site design so that it’s easier to read. Thanks for everyone’s comments.
With Derby Day upon us, our annual excuse to start drinking bourbon early on a Saturday, I must of course give a nod to a great cocktail, the mint julep—bourbon, sweetened, flavored and garnished with mint. My pal Blake Bailey, who introduced me to the drink one ill-fated spring day long ago (read about that day in his gripping new memoir The Splendid Things We Planned) would insist on crushed ice and I wouldn’t disagree, especially if you have swell julep glasses. But my copyeditor, Karen Wise, sent me an article from the Boston Globe on four different cocktails in the Smash family. It’s not a common term, Smash, and there seems to be little definitive consensus. (“A smash is a julep, but a julep isn’t always a smash,” for instance, from Imbibe’s muddled history Read On »
“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 »