Category Archives: American

Mushroom Pie: The Sweetest Pie That Isn’t Sweet

It was a ritual we had, my grandfather and I. We’d meet in front of the Metropolitan Opera House decked out in suits and ties, climb the steps to the Dress Circle and take our seats in the front row. We’d snooze through Act II, rouse ourselves for the increasingly grand finales, then walk through the crowd across the street to O’Neal’s where, no matter what else we ate, we always ordered the mushroom pie. Whenever I make it now, this is what I think about. Continue reading

Why I Deliberately Effed Up a Perfectly Decent Lemon Square Recipe

You’re looking at lemon squares. OK, circles. Very very ugly lemon circles, founded on delectable golden shortbread, crowned with mysterious disks of meringue. They taste amazing, but they are the result of a series of fuckups. I committed them on purpose, because it’s the only way I know how to learn. Continue reading

The Feast of February 13: Wooly Pigs, Racked Lambs, Ravicarbonaroli, Batter-Fried Salads and Panna Not So Cotta

Contrasted to the din and bustle of a restaurant, a home cook’s status is positively monastic–solitary, filled with not-entirely-quiet contemplation. So it was with eagerness and a bit of apprehension that I teamed up with my friend Noah (aka Mr. Pushpush) to cook our wives an Italian-slanted four-star restaurant-grade meal on the night before Valentine’s Day. It was a success, but not without its fair share of “oh shit” moments. Continue reading

Roasting the Dickens Out of a Christmas Goose

This Christmas, when my mother-in-law asked me what we should do for dinner, I blurted out, “Goose.” I had no recipe in mind, had no experience cooking a goose, didn’t even know how you’d acquire one. I just knew that goose was at the center of the Old World holiday feast, a fattier, darker, more hallowed precedent to the American turkey, and I wanted one at the center of our table. Continue reading

Jerusalem Artichokes: Somebody’s Idea of a Joke

I’m with my friend Addison at the farmer’s market and he says he saw some Jerusalem artichokes at a produce stand. I wanted to have a look, but when we got there, I just see a bunch of knotty, ginger-like root vegetables. “Those aren’t Jerusalem artichokes,” I muttered. Addison–thumbing the man behind the counter–says, “I think this guy knows his roots.” He’s polite enough not to add “and now he knows you’re a moron, too.”

I am, of course. And they were, of course. So when the vendor said I could boil them and mash them like potatoes, I bought a large bag. Continue reading