I can already feel Donna rolling her eyes. I’m like that, um, ham, who runs out onto a Broadway stage and flings out his arms … and then silence. Well, it is my theater here, and I don’t exactly sell tickets, and at least it’s not a political ad! Brian Polcyn and I are very proud of our new book, Salumi: The Italian Craft of Dry Curing, about how to make your own pancetta, guanciale, coppa, and other dry-cured wonders in the grand and ancient tradition of Italy. There’s a reason one of the oldest examples of early civilization still exists. Because everyone can do it, and because it’s delicious. Granted, not everyone wants a piece of meat hanging from the chandelier for three weeks, but for those demented and wonderful souls who do, this book is Read On »

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I’m going to devote the next several days to my top picks for holiday shopping for kitchen tools, as I did last year. I’ll have a day for big-ticket items, lower-priced tools, and my favorite cookbooks of the season. I’m starting with my favorite tools that OpenSky has sourced for me—first, the higher-priced items and then lower-priced items, and concluding with my top pick for every kitchen on my or anyone’s Opensky page. The above Fagor induction burner is killer for so many reasons. It gets pans really hot really fast really efficiently. It’s portable so you can use it anywhere that there’s an outlet. We used it last night in the dining room to keep the gravy hot.  It’s a great extra burner for big cooking days and it’s perfect for tiny kitchens or Read On »

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Now that the kids are back in school and Donna and I are back from travel, life returns to its homey routine. Which happily includes an actual late Sunday morning breakfast. It’s one of the best times to cook and can be one of the most satisfying meals of the week. First of all, I’ve got to say it loud: GRITS! Grits are fabulous and I can’t tell you how many people taste them and say they can’t believe people don’t eat them more often. Honestly, you should make them a staple (the butter-poached shrimp and grits in Ruhlman’s Twenty is one of my favorite dishes, period). Just be sure to use real grits (instant grits are not grits). I used Bob’s Red Mill here, because my grocery store carries them. But I highly recommend Read On »

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I’d like to declare July as “Butter Is a Vegetable” month. We live in an era where our food is being legislated against, so before anyone takes away my freedom to eat as much goddam butter as I want, I’d like to make sure it’s defined clearly, and in a way that makes it difficult for the Supreme Court to shut down or California to outlaw (“Will you look at the awful way they’re treating that cream! They’re churning it to death! No more butter! No more butter!”). Thus my campaign to define butter as the vegetable it is. Dan Barber recently wrote in an excellent Wall Street Journal opinion piece that even vegetables take their toll on the earth, drawing up valuable nutrients that they store and give to us, the eaters  (“there is no Read On »

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Dear Mr. Ruhlman, the email read.  It was the very first one waiting for me this morning. And glancing quickly down and seeing a single word, my stomach turned. I have been a fan since Ratio, the writer continued. It is my first stop on the cookbook train. I got Ruhlman’s Twenty for a gift and was over the moon, have read it cover to cover. And what’s more I have tried several of the recipes with success. But seriously, the Snickerdoodles? One of the best cookies of all time and got my kids all worked up into a lather to make some tonight . . . but I have to say, yuck. Sugar bomb! We doubled the recipe because you can never have enough Snickerdoodles . . . 3 cups of sugar to 2 cups Read On »

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