Mayo-4-@1020

  Thinking of the miraculous egg this morning and wanted to repost this on mayonnaise, hoping to encourage those who don’t ever make it to give it a shot. It’s one of those foods that you can’t buy—nothing is like homemade mayonnaise.   Originally posted on May 21, 2008 Finishing up the revisions of a manuscript and going over some fat-based sauces has returned me to the mayonnaise. Like the popover, it’s the story of a great transformation. Yolk, lemon juice, salt, and oil.   There simply isn’t anything like it when you make it yourself—you can’t buy this stuff. But I’ll bet you have everything you need to make it right now. I’ll include a recipe at the end of this post.     Two things are critical to remember for those who have Read On »

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Mint-Julip-2

It’s the Derby weekend so herewith, again, my preferred method for making a great mint julep with a truly minty, clean taste and a color that announces what it is. You can use either a blender or a mortar and pestle (I prefer the latter for the mintiest flavor, pix and recipe here). Of course, I’m still fond of my first julep(s) made by still my dearest pal, Blake Bailey, and the story surrounding it. Blake was initially too mortified to be named at the time, but since he wrote about the event in his searing memoir, The Splendid Things We Planned, the story is out. Happy Derby Day, all! (And don’t forget to have a look at my newest book, How to Saute: Foolproof Techniques and Recipes For the Home Cook. And feel free to enter the Read On »

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Boulevardier-cocktail-2

  Happy Friday, all. Reposting this cocktail as I’ve been ordering it recently and enjoying it immensely. It remains a perfect cocktail for a chilly spring evening. I love how various flavoring components (bitters, vermouths) become different cocktails when you change the spirit. How the Manhattan becomes a Rob Roy when you change the bourbon to scotch (as opposed to a lame-sounding “Scotch Manhattan”), or how a Martini becomes a … um, never mind about that #lostcause (Paulius, can we hope for Darwinian selection here?). I love the elasticity of a solid cocktail, how the addition of apple brandy turns a Clover Club into a Pink Lady. Here, one of my favorite cocktails, the Negroni, becomes a Boulevardier when bourbon replaces the gin. A couple of recent essays (Tmagblog, Imbibe) have wondered why this cocktail isn’t Read On »

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Cured-bacon-3

  It’s bacon time again! I don’t know why but I’ve been getting a lot of bacon questions in my email recently, so thought I’d address a few issues I haven’t before. Of course, I’ve long commented on the fact that curing your own bacon is no more difficult than marinating a steak. Mix all the ingredients together and put them in a plastic bag with the meat. Use the recipe below. The aromatics, the bay leaves and everything else below can be considered optional. But there are other strategies. You could make a brine if you feel more comfortable with that. For those of you concerned about reaching the right salt and pink salt levels, you could use a technique called equilibrium brining, which I first read about in Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine. To Read On »

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Beef-Tenderloin-finished-1b

  Another dish I love from Ruhlman’s Twenty, is perfect for early spring when the nights (here at least) are still cool. I love it for its counter-intuitiveness—boiled beef tenderloin? Actual poached to rare and served in cooking liquid flavored by the root vegetables (celery and beef are always a great pair). But what makes this dish special is the lemon vinaigrette, seasoned with garlic, cracked coriander seeds (it’s fine to leave some seeds whole, as they give an intriguing crunch and flavor burst), and the amazing umami ingredient, fish sauce. I began making a version of this in the early 1990s after reading a similar recipe in The New York Times, but I can’t seem to find it. It’s important to use fresh beef stock; anything else would ruin the elegant flavor and texture of the Read On »

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