Category Archives: French

Duck Confit: A Great Way to Fool People Into Thinking You’re Fancy

Duck confit sounds like a class act. It’s on every bistro menu from here to Boston not because it’s some tricky dish, but because it turns out it’s one of the easiest ways to impress people. Anyone can make it, as long as they have plenty of fat lying around. Continue reading

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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

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

Total Hack: How To Make Duck Pâté Really Fast

Pâté is cold meatloaf for snooty people. But when I start eating it, I can’t stop, especially if it’s accompanied by those cute little cornichon pickles. Everyone from Julia Child on down has a method, but whenever I read the multistep process involved, I feel lightheaded and have to sit down (and eat more pâté). Out of sheer laziness, I have backed into a foolproof pâté recipe of my own. Look, French people will probably kill me for what I’m about to tell you, but it’s worth dying for, just to know I’ve spread a little bit more pâté around the world. 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