Pizza pan winners from Thursday’s post were chosen by randomizer: Anurag Mehrotra, of Athens, GA Two favorites: one is grilled eggplant and feta topping. The other is a butter chicken sauce with chicken tikka/ tandoori chicken.   Laura Jane Elgass, of Forest Park, IL Probably not original, but for making good use of seasonal ingredients I made a charred corn and cherry tomato pizza with goat cheese, arugula and (ahem, aged) balsamic vinegar the other night. It was pretty tasty! Otherwise, any pizza with prosciutto or good Italian sausage is a winner in my book.  Matt (who preferred not to share his name, which is fine by me as long as he shares his pizza) Spread caramelized onions over the dough and then add some sauteed chard, goat cheese, and sausage.  Thanks to all the rest. Read On »

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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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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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I’ve written about fried chicken a lot because, well, it’s pretty high up on the list of best possible things to eat, period. Given that it’s one of the best possible things to eat, it’s imperative that we make fried chicken as often as possible. We can’t know when we shall leave this mortal coil; therefore: the more fried chicken you eat, the better your life will have been. It’s in your hands. Here, I not only give the recipe, but I demonstrate how I personally prefer to cook this infinitely variable preparation. The technique is pan-frying, which I use for chicken and pork chops. Unlike deep-frying, the items are not completely submerged. Ideally the oil level will come halfway up what you’re cooking (I have slightly more oil than I need in the video). Read On »

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We’re back again with another valuable technique, the water bath, essential for gentle cooking. The water bath uses the miracle tool, water. Water makes life as we know it possible. It’s one of the only substances that expands when it freezes rather than contracts (if it didn’t, ice would sink, not simply ruining your gin and tonic, but rendering the gin and tonic moot, as most of habitable earth would be flooded). Water cannot go above 212°F in normal circumstances (it can if you heat it under pressure or, with less pressure, specifically at high altitudes, it turns to gas at lower temperatures). And importantly, it cools as it evaporates (which is why sweating cools our body). In this video we use it to gently cook emulsified shrimp and cream, mixed with whole chunks of Read On »

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