Ramos-Gin-Fiz-cocktail-2

I’ll be doing a couple cocktails featuring the egg as this is the month of Egg, my new book exploring the world’s most versatile ingredient. The stuff of life. Seriously. We’re lucky each time we eat one (unless you’re Paul Newman playing Cool Hand Luke). We’re luckier still every time we drink one! They are great in cocktails. Last week I featured the whiskey sour. A favorite of my Grandma Spamer, who would have been 97 today. Though by the time I saw her drink them, they were made with frozen lime concentrate or some such, and certainly no egg white. And frankly a sour doesn’t have to have an egg white. Oh, but add an egg white and they become substantial. They are more satisfying on every level, with real body to carry that Read On »

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Photo by Donna Turner Ruhlman

You’d think a health news piece in the venerable NYTimes questioning a NYTimes op-ed linking illness and salt would make me happy, but it only makes me angry. What is the media’s problem? Nobody knows anything for certain—that is the only possible story. Nobody really knows anything for certain. Not your doctor, not your nutritionist, not ABC News, not the Times, and, for sure, not me. Today’s op-ed by Nicholas Bakalar questions an earlier op-ed by Dr. Thomas A. Farley, former commissioner of health for New York City (both articles linked above), who wrote that excess salt is killing 40,000 to 90,000 people a year (according to “best estimates”—what exactly does this mean?). Think about this number. It accounts for more deaths than breast cancer. If he is right, shouldn’t we all be wearing little Read On »

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FM-comp-2014

  I’m finally home for a spell, long enough to plan out meals from my farmers’ market or, more precisely, growers’ market, and I was eager to see what was available this early in the season and after an uncommonly long, cold winter. Thanks to greenhouses there were plenty of greens, all kinds of them—kale, tatsoi, pea shoots, spinach, beet greens, basil. We have good local cheese makers so I picked up some sheep’s milk cheese and chèvre. Two dozen eggs, of course. Jason from Tea Hill Farms said, “Been so cold the chickens just don’t want to grow.” His chickens were just over two pounds and I bought a couple of them. They are so pristine, with firm, taut skin, they seem a different species from the ones in the grocery store. I bought oats and grits Read On »

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Whisky-sour-3x

In my ongoing celebration/promotion of the new book, I’ll be doing a series of egg-reliant cocktails. Here, images and recipe from a while back, the white gives body to a great and classic cocktail, the whiskey sour. It looks really gross coming out of the shell, doesn’t it? Don’t even need to say what it reminds me of! But man, does it turn the cocktail into something truly substantial. Bartenders will remind you that it’s important to dry shake the ingredients first to denature that snotty-looking egg white. I get better and faster results by sticking an immersion blender into the shaker, giving it a serious buzz, then adding the ice and shaking till thoroughly chilled. I love simple cocktails and this is one of the greats: whiskey, sugar, citrus. Feel free to omit the Read On »

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Meringue, whipped with sugar, binds nuts and dried fruit/photos by Donna Turner Ruhlman

  I’m doing a lot of interviews regarding my new book, Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient, and one question is persistent: What did I uncover that surprised me about the egg? I was surprised—very surprised—once, and that was when I began to write about meringue. The proteins that make up the egg white have the remarkable capacity to unwind and form a kind of mesh that traps air bubbles. Once it begins to trap infinitesimal and countless bubbles, the white expands to five or more times its initial volume, becoming completely opaque and about as white as anything one can imagine. The above photo is of nougat, a French confection of egg whites and sugar, that bind a combination of nuts and fruit (photo by Donna, of course). It’s chewy. Read On »

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