After giving me a lesson in how thin I needed to roll the dough to make a proper knish, my neighbor Lois sat down with me in my kitchen to tape the audio for a planned iPad app called The Book of Schmaltz. I had intended to use only the audio, but now that the app is temporarily unavailable because of the publication of the hardcover book, I find Lois’s words too engaging (and funny) to hide. And so here I present her thoughts on schmaltz, chicken fat rendered with onion, against the backdrop of our messy kitchen backdoor area. She is an articulate woman who waxes beautiful on this most ethereal of fats. And, from this humble goy to Jews far and wide, L’Shanah Tovah. May your year be fruitful and filled with schmaltzy goodness. Read On »

Share

Introducing the first of a new series of cooking videos on technique, though admittedly this one focuses on an actual Le Creuset piece, the cocotte. I love these little dishes. They’re great to cook in and great to serve in. I’m dying to do a little snail potpie in them. In this video, though, I’m cooking my favorite ingredient, the egg. How many ways can this little miracle of nutrition and economy be brought to ethereal heights of soul-satisfying deliciousness? Enough to fill a book or ten (wait for mine, coming in April). Here, I’m going with perhaps the easiest way of all to cook an egg, baked in an enclosed vessel. There are three different terms applied to eggs cooked in an oven. The second, after baked, is coddled: covered and baked in a Read On »

Share

Video: looking for something different to make this summer, try Melissa Clark’s corn ice cream, via New York Times.

Share

The above is, technically, an intro to the Chicago restaurant Alinea, led by restaurateur Nick Kokonas and chef Grant Achatz, whose story I recount in The Reach of a Chef. The question “Are chefs artists?” almost always annoys me. Grant told me he considers himself as such (and not without reason). His mentor Thomas Keller considers himself, the chef, a craftsman. In a long-ago post I reprint from Reach of a Chef my chapter on chef Masa Takayama, making a case I almost argue against: that the chef can, in certain instances, rise to the level of artist. That chefs are artists is a facile assumption that is almost always wrong. To complicate matters in the funnest of possible ways, in walks Christian Seel, a chef as actual filmmaker, creating this, one of the most Read On »

Share

Video: Watch Melissa Clark cut up a whole chicken which saves you money at the store and help you make stock, via NYT.

Share