lsanderson: (Food Crabs)
Should a Wine List Educate or Merely Flatter You?

In Oregon, Truffles Are No Match for Wet Noses

Sasha, foreground, found an Oregon black truffle for her owners, Erik Campen and Kim Hickey.
Published: August 7, 2012

THE forest air was cool and the light translucently green, sifted through the Douglas-fir canopy above and refracted by plumes of sword ferns that sprang from the forest floor. There was a muffled galumphing, a blur of golden fur, and then another, as Sasha and Ashleigh, two golden retrievers, bounded by off-leash in a kind of dog nirvana, followed closely by their owners, Kim Hickey and Erik Campen.

It was not until then that meat became a key part of the diet of aristocrats. Bear paw was a dish appreciated by King Zhou, the dynasty’s last king, who made his reputation as a torturer, a drinker and a host of extravagant orgies.

The recipe was straightforward: 1 bear paw, 2 ounces of honey, 1 teaspoon of salt, 20 ounces of chicken broth,1/3 ounce of ginger and 7 ounces of grain alcohol.

The paw was to be peeled and cleaned, coated in a thick layer of honey, cooked in a pot at low heat for an hour, rinsed, then simmered for three hours in a pot with the chicken broth and seasonings on the embers of a fire.

It was the prep that threw me: “Clean the paw with paper. Don’t use water that might contaminate it. Put some lime in a bowl, then add a thick layer of fried rice. Place the bear paw on the rice and cover it with another layer of rice. Put a lid on the bowl and seal it with lime.

“The bear paw cannot be eaten immediately after it is cut off. It is necessary to let it go rancid for one or two years before cooking.”

Who knew? Chinese Bear Paws Tickle the French

Never Say ‘No’ to a Tomato Vine

Tomato, fresh fig and blue cheese salad.
Published: August 3, 2012
I’M afraid to even say this out loud because I don’t want to jinx it. But a few weeks ago, at the very beginning of tomato season, I ate a perfect heirloom.
Tomato Bread Salad With Chorizo and Herbs
Cherry Tomato Caesar Salad
Tomato, Fresh Fig and Blue Cheese Salad
Tomato Tonnato

Palates, Like Children, Grow

Wade Burch gives Addison, Brie and Hailey, above from left, a hands-on lesson in corn shucking as they make corn soup.
Published: August 3, 2012
“I FIND it inconceivable that my daughter won’t eat what I cook,” said Wade Burch, the 46-year-old executive chef at 11 restaurants owned and managed by Merchants Hospitality, including Neely’s Barbecue Parlor on the Upper East Side.

He and his wife, Lisa, a freelance publicist, 42, have three daughters, Hailey, who just turned 8; Brie, 6; and Addison, 5. And when he says “my daughter,” he is speaking of any one of the three, since whatever he cooks will usually please one or two but seldom all. At their sprawling two-story house here in North Jersey, a trifecta is rare.

Asked to Get Slim, Cheese Resists
Published: August 6, 2012
MILWAUKEE — In the centuries that Americans have been making cheese, they have gotten very good at it, producing world-class Cheddars and chèvres, to name just two varieties. But more recently, cheese making has been something of a struggle.

Under pressure to reduce sodium and saturated fats in American diets — especially those of children — the cheese industry has tried to make products with less salt or fat that consumers will like.

It has not had great success. Moar

Marcus Samuelsson, a Chef, a Brand and Then Some

Marcus Samuelsson greeted customers at his Red Rooster Harlem restaurant.
Published: August 4, 2012
MARCUS SAMUELSSON, dapper in a Ralph Lauren tuxedo and patterned scarf, is working the celebrity-couture crowd at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It is a Monday evening, just around 7, and Mr. Samuelsson — hotshot chef, food impresario and kinetic force behind Red Rooster Harlem, one of Manhattan’s restaurants of the moment — is displaying his usual verve.

On the red carpet, he snaps a picture of his glamorous wife, the model and philanthropist Maya Haile, with Beyoncé. In the European sculpture gallery, he is chatting with Kanye West and several of the New York Knicks. At the Temple of Dendur, he is dining with André Balazs, the hotel owner, and Chelsea Handler.

The next morning at 10, Mr. Samuelsson, in a fresh shirt and tux trousers, is sitting in a sound studio some 60 blocks downtown, painstakingly recording the audio version of his new memoir, “Yes, Chef.” Six hours later, in a vintage, red velvet tuxedo jacket, he is overseeing an intimate dinner for 350 at Gotham Hall on behalf of Queen Silvia and Princess Madeleine of Sweden.

A Kitchen Rainbow

Published: August 7, 2012

Bialetti, an Italian cookware company, introduced its five-quart oval pasta pot more than 10 years ago. I loved its shape, which neatly accommodated a pound or two of long pasta like spaghetti, and its colanderlike lid, which locked in place for easy draining. I even put up with the color, metallic blue. Now Bialetti has introduced an array of hues: red, charcoal gray, purple, turquoise and orange. Meanwhile, I have discovered some uses besides preparing pasta: It will hold six ears of corn on the cob, and is ideal for steaming or boiling two 1 ¼-pound lobsters.

Calling Jack Horner

Published: August 7, 2012

Greenmarkets normally win plaudits for selling produce that’s locally grown and often organic, but they also sell items that are simply not available anywhere else.

Take plums. Yes, there are local farmers who grow varieties that you will find in your supermarket, like Santa Rosa, Italian prune and Elephant Heart. Yet for juicy, Ping-Pong-to-golf-ball-size plums in yellow, green, pink, red and purple — some blushed with rouge — you need to seek out the farm stand. About a dozen kinds are on sale these days in New York Greenmarkets, though some are tailing off as others appear.


Aug. 8th, 2012 06:23 am
lsanderson: (Food Cherries)

A Poolside Negroni, left, and Shaddock's Fizz, Aperol drinks at Peels.
Published: August 7, 2012
JUST as the culinary cognoscenti press us into embracing certain food trends (“You will eat pork belly! Love cupcakes now! Hate cupcakes now!”) so, too, do they dictate our drinks.

First, several years ago, there was St.-Germain, the delicate elderflower liqueur. Early on, it entered a long-term relationship with prosecco: if you wanted to date the sparkling Italian refreshment, you were stuck with its French chaperon. Next up was Domaine de Canton, and every lounge drink began to taste vaguely of gingersnaps.

Coming around the corner is Cynar; get ready to explain to your dinner guests why you are making them a martini that tastes of artichoke.

But for the time being, we live in the world of Aperol, a slightly bitter, go-down-easy Italian aperitif that has found its way into bartenders’ flutes and highball glasses from Los Angeles to London. More

Shaddock’s Fizz
Il Sorpasso
Aperol Granita
lsanderson: (VN Da younger brother)

THE CURE Sam Edwards makes a ham called Surryano, a Virginia version of Serrano.

Published: June 2, 2009
HAVE you ever placed a vanishingly thin morsel of rosy meat on your tongue and had it fill your mouth with deepest porkiness, or the aroma of tropical fruits, or caramel, or chocolate? Or all of the above? More
lsanderson: (VN Da Real Baby Brother)

‘WHERE THEY BELONG’ Marc Ounis at the bakery he and his partner, Verlaine Daeron, opened in Colebrook, N.H., in 2001 after moving from France.
Published: May 31, 2009

A French couple came to town several years ago in search of something. Here, amid the swelling mountains and struggling businesses, the Red Sox hagiography and Yankee taciturnity, they were looking for just the right place to sell madeleines.

And croissants. And tarts. And long, thin loaves of French bread that all but dare you to tear at their heel before you’re out the door.

The couple converted a run-down building near an abandoned gas station into Le Rendez-Vous, a cozy bakery whose blend of bread, coffee and conversation soon charmed this rural community. After a while it seemed that the owner, Verlaine Daeron, and her partner and baker, Marc Ounis, had always been here, and always would be. More
lsanderson: (VN Crabs)

Published: June 1, 2009
Fresh asparagus is available in greenmarkets in the East and Midwest through the end of June. But here in California, the season began a few months ago — a great thing, as this is a vegetable I never tire of. There’s a lot you can do with asparagus besides just eating it unadorned, steamed for five minutes or — if you’ve got nice, fat stalks — roasted. Delicate, thin stalks go wonderfully with eggs, either stirred into scrambled eggs or tossed with a vinaigrette and finely chopped hard-boiled eggs. I love to toss asparagus with pasta, and I often use it in soups. Children seem to like it, too. If the family table has seen too much broccoli, asparagus makes a fine alternative. More

Recipes for Health: Asparagus Salad With Hard-boiled Eggs (June 5, 2009)
Recipes for Health: Puree of Asparagus Soup (June 4, 2009)
Recipes for Health: Asparagus Frittata With Smoked Trout (June 3, 2009)
Recipes for Health: Pasta With Asparagus, Arugula and Ricotta (June 2, 2009)

Banh Mi

Apr. 8th, 2009 06:21 am
lsanderson: (VN Da Real Baby Brother)

Published: April 7, 2009
FRED HUA’S banh mi pho doesBuilding on Layers of Tradition not look like a cultural revolution. But in its juicy, messy way, it is. Served at Nha Toi in Brooklyn, where he is the chef and owner, banh mi pho is stuffed with the ingredients for pho, the sacred soup of Vietnam: beef scented with star anise and cinnamon, fresh basil and crunchy bean sprouts. More

Banh Mi, Unstacked

Sampling Banh Mi

The hoisin veal meatballs made by Ratha Chau at Num Pang.

Related Recipe: Daikon and Carrot Pickle (April 8, 2009)


Jul. 9th, 2008 06:44 am
lsanderson: (VN Flowers)

Published: July 9, 2008
TOO bad sainthood is not generally conferred on bakers, for there is one who is a possible candidate for canonization. She fulfills most of the requirements: (1) She’s dead. (2) She demonstrated heroic virtue. (3) Cults have been formed around her work. (4) Her invention is considered by many to be a miracle. The woman: Ruth Graves Wakefield. Her contribution to the world: the chocolate chip cookie. More
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cold Soup

Jul. 9th, 2008 06:43 am
lsanderson: (VN Fish at Market)

Published: July 9, 2008
LITTLE or no cooking is one way to keep the kitchen cool in the summer, but if the food you produce is cool (and delicious, of course), that’s a real plus. More
Ultrafast Avocado Soup
lsanderson: (VN Dragon Fruit)

Published: July 9, 2008
IN China, it’s called zha xian nai or chow lai; in India, gulab jamun; in Spain, leche frita and in Italy, latte dolce fritto or crema fritta, depending on where you are. Translated, they all mean the same thing: fried milk. More
Garlic Fried Milk
Crema Fritta


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