January 21, 2009
A better way to make ravioli.
What kind of flour should I use? I had quite quickly settled on 100% Semolina flour when I first made tagliatelle, because I loved the bite that it gave my fresh pasta. When I made the first batch of ravioli, I just started there, figuring it would work for all fresh pasta recipes. But as I read more and more, I noticed that most of the recipes specifically called for all-purpose flour. Perhaps the flour would...
January 5, 2009
Lard is the secret to this Mexican classic.
By the time I fished the three pounds of pork hunks from the lard and stacked them on the cutting board,far more guests had arrived than I had originally planned. It was a New Year's Eve party, but I thought dinner would just be an intimate gathering of 5 or so, and then we'd meet up with more friends later in the night. But apparently my calls for meeting up later meant that they should come over right then and make me...
December 11, 2008
How to make the best burger at home.
You know the burger obsession is going off the deep end when semi-serious discussion takes place over the burger making skills of a cartoon. Please stick with me. This cartoon happened feature J. Wellington Wimpy, the burger-loving sidekick of Popeye. Hamburger America author George Motz found this clip and was there to comment on Wimpy's burger making skills: "Notice how even in cartoons back then they got it...
December 3, 2008
Start a holiday morning tradition with delicious coffee cake.
Coffee cakes come in two types--leavened by baking powder and/or soda, or by yeast. The first is what most Americans would call a coffee cake, that tender, cakey variety which is often made with sour cream. The other kind is more recognizable as cinnamon rolls.
This is the sour-cream variety and really couldn't be easier. Inexperienced bakers--that's us--should have no trouble with it. The result has a tender crumb...
November 30, 2008
A baby step towards making salami.
It's similar in appearance and texture, and has that unmistakable salty tang of cured meat. I'm surprised it never occurred to me before, but the idea is simple. Pork tenderloin, which is already in a convenient salami-like shape perfect for slicing, makes a perfect dry-curing project.
There is already one traditional cured meat called Lonzino, Italian, which is made not from the tenderloin but the regular boneless...
November 20, 2008
Because fresh pasta deserves a sauce this good.
Once I figured out how to make fresh pasta, I waited all of 12 hours before I set out to create my own Ragù alla Bolognese. It was a goal of mine ever since watching an episode of Heston Blumenthal's TV series In Search of Perfection. The premise of the show is for the acclaimed chef to reexamine some stodgy British classics by going back to the roots of the original dish. His final recipe usually involves...
September 18, 2008
How to make the staple Mexican sausage.
The recipe comes from Diana Kennedy's "From My Mexican Kitchen". This particular version comes from the Michoacán region. She does give direction on how to stuff the mixture into casings, but I bailed out early. Some day.
As first sausage making experiences go, I'd have to say this was pretty remarkable. I got about 2 pounds of fresh sausage and spent about $12 dollars. ...
September 10, 2008
How to make pickles at home without filling your place with the smell of pickles.
But all I did was worry. Why was there no garlic in the dill pickles? Every other jar of dill pickles I had bought contained garlic. And why did the pickling spice smell so sweet? Dill pickles weren't sweet. I worried that Ruhlman's recipe was too refined. I wanted simple dill pickles. I'd have to look elsewhere.
I pulled out Arthur Schwartz's Jewish Home Cooking and found...
August 26, 2008
Keep that spatula at hand.
At first everything was fine. Taking a cue from Adam Kuban, we decided to make our own onion rings instead of the normal burger pairing of fries. The recipe was taken from Simply Recipes, which soaked the onions in buttermilk and coated them in flour and cornmeal.
We fried them in canola oil set to 350 degrees for a few minutes, until nice and golden brown. We stashed them in preheated oven and got to the beef...
August 5, 2008
Make pulled pork at home.
Apple City Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches
1 pork butt (4-6 pounds), preferably with the bone-in
Prick the pork butt all over with a fork.
Magic Dust: AKA the Rub
1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons mustard powder
1/4 cup chili powder
1/4 cup ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1/4 cup granulated garlic
2 tablespoons cayenne
July 2, 2008
How to smoke pork belly at home.
First, I needed to find some pork belly with its skin still firmly on. My previous attempt removed it, along with a lot of precious fat directly underneath. My bacon didn't have nearly enough fat on it to fry up, so instead cooking up beautifully in a pan, it burned. My local butcher wouldn't sell me a piece with the skin on unless I bought 10 pounds, a fact I still find ridiculous. A commenter pointed out...
May 21, 2008
Moving beyond pico de gallo into real authentic territory
I thought I knew everything there was to know about salsa. Tomatoes, garlic, onions, jalapenos, lime juice, salt. Chop, mix, serve. It’s an enormous pain, but the alternative (jarred salsa) just doesn’t compare. Taking the time to chop is a noble pursuit.
That was until Blake visited last weekend. What he threw together in a matter of minutes turned blood red and clung to every chip like it...