Today I wish a happy Independence Day to all my smart, vigorously commenting, articulate, wonderful readers who make this blog so exciting to write. Many of you come here to read about food and drink, for the occasional recipe, or to enjoy my wife’s excellent photography, but I’m guessing from the comments and from which posts are most read, that people come back because I’m an independent thinker and writer about food and cooking. I, with my friend and collaborator, Brian Polcyn, wrote a love song to animal fat and salt in a fat- and salt-phobic country. Earlier this week, I moved to make July Butter Is a Vegetable month (because it is, if you think about it right) even though every doctor in America will warn you away from too much butter (no matter that Read On »

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  Michael is taking a break from the blog for 10 days. He remains, he says, “very grateful to the readers and especially to the commenters who have offered so much great thought, information, skepticism, and humor.” He hopes to be back a week from Wednesday, provided he does not lose his way, and until then is reposting some of the posts other readers have found useful. — Emilia  Spatchcocked Turkey Originally posted July 1, 2011 My daughter was born 16 years ago, June 4th, a Sunday. Two weeks later was Father’s Day. Having never been a father on Father’s Day, I took it easy. I’d finished the manuscript of my first book but hadn’t heard from my editor (I forget nothing, Bill!); I had no prospects and we were near broke. I grilled a turkey. Read On »

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Michael is currently on the West Coast touring colleges with his daughter.  After the college tour, he heads back home to Cleveland for a few days and then is off to Palm Beach.  The last leg of his trip leads Michael to New York.  While in New York, he will be preparing his Carolina BBQ from Twenty  and Michael Symon’s pickled chillis with help of the amazing Ariane Daguin of D’Artagnan who suggested an American charcuterie dish at the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) awards on April 2nd. By the way I need give a big congratulations to both Michael and Donna for being nominated for the James Beard Foundation Award for Twenty in the General Cookbook category.  Great work you two! Originally posted on March 4, 2009 More than a year ago, I Read On »

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This summer, I tweeted that I had Big Green Egg envy, word that reached Ray Lampe, aka Dr. BBQ and Big Green Egg’s official chef. He convinced the company to ship me their top of the line (with the cypress wood table, which is awesome if you can afford it). I really wanted to cook with one because I’d heard such great things about it. (He’s @DrBBQ on twitter, and a hearty #FF to him). After we corresponded, I’d read about these ceramic charcoal heated ovens in The New York Times, generically called kamado cookers.  I accepted his offer enthusiastically.  So: Full disclosure: they sent it to me free; I told them I’d love to use it and write about it but to know that if I didn’t like it or didn’t think it was Read On »

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Corn is in and with the hot weather, there’s no better way to cook corn than to grill it. People have asked me what’s the best way to do it? There are two basic ways, depending on what you’re after. Corn today is so sweet and tender, it only needs to be heated through, so your decision is really one about types of heat to use, high direct heat, which will brown the corn giving it a grilled flavor, or low temperature, steamed within its wet husk. I like both and the above corn which we ate after a day at the beach (sigh), used a little of both. I love the appearance because it tells you how it was cooked.  If I want a really smoke roasted caramelized flavor, I’d shuck the corn and Read On »

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