Category Archives: Feature

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

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Salad Theory: No More Excuses, People

Salad. La di freakin’ da, right? Only then how come so many people screw up a salad? I see salads at potlucks, at family reunions, even at friends’ dinner parties, and I’m like “Really?” I don’t really say that. I eat it, slathered in whatever Creamy Chemicals N’ Bits salad dressing that is nearby. But it’s really easy to bring some joy to Saladtown. Trash the Bac-Os. Chuck every salad dressing in your fridge. And pay attention to the Rule of Threes: Continue reading

Sous Veni, Sous Vide, Sous Vici

As you might have heard, I played around with the SousVide Supreme for a review on Gizmodo. Basically I spent two weeks vacuum sealing meats into plastic bags, then cooking them at precise temperatures–you should read my review for a more clear description.

As overwhelmed as I was by having such a chef-grade tool at my disposal, I did whip up some nice food, though managed to bomb a few dishes too. (Would it feel right if I nailed every challenge? This is about failing and dealing as much as it is about getting shit right.) Anyhow, here’s a quick rundown of my sous vide concoctions, with some commentary I didn’t/couldn’t include in my Giz piece: 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

Goat Biriyani: From the Petting Zoo to My Mouth

We take our kid to a zoo with a place where you can pet and feed goats, similar to the petting zoo I frequented as a lad, though with more hand sanitizer and overall fewer opportunities to catch salmonella. I have nothing against goats, though they should have something against me now, because I find them delicious. Especially in an Indian baked rice dish known as biriyani. Continue reading

Gnocchi Gnotes

The Holiday of Eating came and went, and with gut officially busted, I am collecting my thoughts. We didn’t go turkey+stuffing+sweet potatoes+broccoli casserole or creamed spinach or whatever this year. Instead we did rack of lamb+butternut squash gnocchi+spinach salad with pomegranate vinaigrette+crostini di fegatini. Treasonously Continental in the eyes of those Teabagging types, but plenty good and festive to us.

Not much to say about the rack of lamb besides “Hard to screw up” and “I screwed up anyway.” (Note to self: Now will you buy a damn digital thermometer, you asswipe???) But the gnocchi was a success/failure of a different color. A nice lively orange color. Continue reading

Making and Canning Jam at Home (or 47 Different Ways To Die)

You hear “homemade jam,” and you think of grandmas puttering around a kitchen, talking to Tweetie bird and stirring a gently steaming pot, saying “Oh dear this” and “Oh dear that.” But I’ve been there, and I know the reality. I know the sting of hot bubble burns, the throbbing of skin-on-glass doozies, and the adrenaline spike of hundreds of near-misses that could have scarred me for life at the very least. Making jam is entering a world of fiery pain, my friend. Proceed with caution. Continue reading